Tuesday, November 30, 2010

John McFetridge's FLASH is Great Stuff

John McFetride is one hell of a talented crime writer in the novel, short story, and flash arena's. I hit the jackpot when I was checking out the excellent Do Some Damage blog last night. If you look on the right side of the blog, you will see John's 64 page PDF called "Flash". I highly recommend this as a must read. Within the pages, you will find tremendous flash stories, a couple of kickass shorts, and a few good interviews with John. The stories read so smooth and I found myself not being able to put it down until I finished every last word.

Do yourself a favor and give it a read. You will not be disapointed!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I got into the sport of Cricket in 2005 after watching an episode of Inspector Morse where Det. Lewis, an avid follower of the sport, goes undercover at Oxford as a player to get to the bottom of a drug smuggling ring. It was the perfect time to get into the sport because the 2005 Ashes was such an incredible series of matches and the England squad had so many great characters ( Hoggy, Harmy, Pieterson to name a few) who eventually brought the Urn back to England in dramatic fashion.This was huge and I bought the DVD collection, which is awesome. Big 6's and vicious, fast bowling made this a great series which has yet to be equaled since.

The first of the 5 tests in 2010 just ended in a draw, but England put on a tremendous performace with the bat to earn it, as they were up against a huge deficit, and were all but counted out.

If you have a desire to keep track of the 2010 Ashes, Cricinfo does a great job with it. You can get it HERE

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Write a 100 Word Scene, Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Over at Gary Ponzo's Blog, he has a monthly contest where you submit a 100 word scene, he picks the top 5, and his blog readers select the winner via a poll. Gary is also the author of  the Mafia based crime story, "A Touch of Deceit" that I find very intriguing. You can find out more about Gary's contest and his novel HERE

Have a Happy Holiday Everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WD Your Story Challenge ( 25 words)

Over at Writers Digest, they have the "Your Story" challenge, which they have changed up a bit this month. Usually, it is a 750 word max story based on a  prompt like "you receive a letter in the mail and there is an eye patch in it". You write the story around that scenario. This months is much simpler and you enter online as usual. WD will select the top five, which will be posted on the WD forum, where forum members vote for the winner. The winning entry gets published in WD magazine. Complete details HERE, but this is sthe skinny.

Write the opening sentence (25 words or fewer) to a story based on the photo prompt shown below

Friday, November 19, 2010

Want a Critique of a CH in Your WIP?

Over at Clarissa Draper's blog, she's offering a free critique of a chapter of your WIP. Details can be found HERE

Some of you have read this before, and the feedback was valuable, but it certainly never hurts to get an opinion from an independant source, who may not be into reading your genre. So here is CH 1 of  "Sissy Murphy", which is not quite a prologue, but a harbinger of things to come.

Here's the pitch as it stands today: American  writer, pothead, and pacifist Seamus Murphy is befriended by Irish ex-patriot Tommy Moore, who uses Seamus' love of Ireland and lack of confidence to transform him into a killer, who will help Tommy settle unfinished business.

No blood. And the little Puerto Rican cocksucker needs to be alive, when the concrete vault is dropped on top of him.
I love simple instructions.
The no blood tenet meant my initial idea, a cricket ball, was out. The raised seam would easily lacerate flesh. This bummed me out, because I have really improved the pace on my inswinger. Plan B, a lacrosse ball, works perfectly. Delivered at ninety miles per hour, it will hurt like hell, bruise internal organs, break ribs…crush testicles.
I’m sure Armando, street name Striker, follows a code of stereotypical ethics on the streets of Lawrence, Massachusetts. The usual bullshit: no ratting, never go against, or leave the gang. Striker will now learn ours.
Never fuck with the elderly, children…or the Irish.
My well practiced brogue is sweeter than Tim Finnegan’s when I ask him, “Where is she, you piece of shite?”
“Fuck you," Esse says.
Distance: fifty-feet. Coordinates: left rib cage. Clear for crank shot.
David Lee Roth pops into my head…'One break…comin' up'.
Striker gives up a cough scream. I realize I must have nicked a lung. Coach would be proud.
Striker screams, but sees nothing. He’s got a severe case of Super Glue conjunctivitis at the moment. He’s naked and facing me, but his uncircumcised welfare check missile is a huge distraction.
I’m weird about shit like that.
He's probably never seen a lacrosse net. Doesn’t know his hands and feet are duct taped to each of the four corners, spread eagle style.
This is the tenderizing of Striker stage of the game. I’m hoping the fear of the money shot is weighing heavily on his mind.
It is not a fear of heights. It is the fear of falling.
The Clancy Brothers are doing "Wild Colonial Boy" on the boom box I set up and it sounds great reverberating off the cement walls of the warehouse. Senor Shitforbrains thinks he's being tortured by some crazy fucking Mick, not the long haired, hippie freak I used to be.
I drop his body, which I duct taped in a coffin chic pose, into the trunk of the Charger. He's breathing, but in bad shape, covered in welts and bruises that look like red bulls-eye's, with black centers. If he was going to live another day, they would each expand to the size of purple softballs.
I call Tommy, tell him where his daughter is and that I'm on my way. He tells me everything is cool, proceed as planned.
As I drive through the pre-dawn darkness, I'm thinking of the tattoo that runs the length of Striker's right forearm. It's an upside down cross, DAD, near the wrist, REST IN PIECES just below the elbow joint. Everyone has their anchor to drag. I have a small dick, at least he had the option of a seeing a shrink.
When I pull up to the cemetery gates, Tommy's connection is waiting in the backhoe. He climbs down, opens the gates, and walks over to me.  I hand him an envelope with five large in it, and pop the trunk with the key fob. We carry Styker's half dead carcass over to the backhoe and roll him into the front loader.  We shake hands and he climbs up into the cockpit.
As I walk away, the engine fires up and I see the front loader start to roll up and then raise into the air. On the drive back to my place, I'm thinking of the mourners, who won't know they are getting a two-for-one special later this morning as their beloved's casket is lowered into the vault.  If there is an afterlife, I'm hoping Striker gets to sort things out with his old man.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Wholesale"; My Entry For Lily Childs' Friday Prediction

Over at Lily Childs blog, she hosts a 100 word flash challenge using three words she comes up with that need to be included in the story. This week the words were: Bed-chamber, Kestrel ( a bird), and Uriel ( the Archangel). Lots of talent going on over there, which you can check out HERE

So, Here's my entry, "Wholesale".

When we enter the bed-chamber, the geezer is under the covers, mumbling to the rosary wrapped around his hands. The nightcap he's wearing makes him look like Scrooge and when I tell Ronni this, she laughs, tells him, "those beads ain't gonna' work old man. Uriel's fresh out of redemption today."

He starts kissing the Cross, tears running down his face. I point toward the bird on the nightstand. It's a Kestrel, stuffed postmortem with 500K in uncut ice from Dachau jewelers. Ronni grabs it, tosses it to me, and then pushes a pillow down hard on his face.

Every Picture Tells a Story and Makes for a Pretty Cool Gift Too

My dad turned 70 last month and my 3 brothers and I wanted to do something special for him, and by default, my mom too. We decided to make a video tribute, kind of a "This is Your Life" type of project. We, or I should say, my daughter, found a really cool site, OneTrue Media, that is free to do such things. we actually ended up paying the membership fee, because of the amount of songs we wanted to use and we wanted to create a nice, customized  DVD with a case. You can do a whole lot without paying a penny though. I'm not pushing home movies on anyone, but if you want to see a bit about the Reardon clan, you can click on the below link. It is about 17 minutes, but the real purpose of me posting this is to let people know about the site and perhaps provide a unique idea for a gift to some loved ones.

The Life and Times of Pa

Monday, November 15, 2010


Over at Crime Always Pays, Declan Burke made an offer to send a copy of his latest, revised, not yet published novel THE BABY KILLERS, to any followers of CAP that might be interested in giving it a read. Having both read and very much enjoyed his previous novels THE BIG-O and CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, I of course, accepted the offer. I would think that most visitors to this blog are already familiar with Declan and his work, so when I finished reading it, I thought long and hard when trying to put together my take, a review if you will, on my experience. I'm not talking about a back-slapping, thank's mate, help the cause type of  review. Although I am a fan, it was going to be non-biased review and if I didn't like the story, I knew I would have to shoot staight and tell Declan the truth.  In other words, I was the one taking the risk here. My blog followers and other writer friends can smell a rat a mile away and I was not going to bullshit them either.  Here is what I came up with.

"If you took Palahniuk's "Fight Club", Ellis' "American Psycho", and King's "Secret Garden, Secret Window", combined them with Burke's mastery of dialogue, character, and the human condition, then removed the gratuitous violence, the end result would be Burke's latest and most impressive novel to date,"The Baby Killers". An excellent read that continually ratchets up the intrigue and suspense factors as it builds toward the tremendous finale, while at the same time providing an intense, no holds barred, behind the scenes introspection into the psyche of the writer and his process."

If you follow CAP, you'll know about the various incarnations, roadblocks to publication, and publishing plans this novel has gone through. The one thing that really pissed me off as I read TBK is the "not commercially viable" tag. This is a total crock of shit and just another example of the publishing industry having their heads up their asses. Hopefully, this version of TBK changes all that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Red Adept Reviews Twists Contest

Over at Red Adept Reviews there is a very cool contest going on. Complete details can be found HERE

Here is some info:

I think most people have seen “Sixth Sense”, with Bruce Willis. Remember the surprise ending? Ever read some of O. Henry’s stories? Those are just two examples of the types of “twists” we are looking for in a story. We must never see it coming, yet think “Why didn’t I see that coming?”
All prizes below include publication in a new anthology titled, “Twists and Turns: A Red Adept Reviews Collection.” Each winning author will receive an equal percentage of the net royalties for this anthology and a copy of the resulting e-book.
The anthology will also feature a bonus short story from J.A. Konrath one of our sponsors!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Crank Shot" published at "A Twist of Noir"

My 622 word (had to be 622 as part of the challenge) crime story "Crank Shot", as well as a bunch of other great stories are online over at " A Twist of Noir". I really like the short word count as it makes it easier to read more of the stories. If you want to have a look click HERE

I sincerely thank all veterans who have served, and those that have died for their country. The world is a better place because of you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mark Staniforth's 'Fryupdale"

"Porn stars and serial killers, Nazis and nymphomaniacs, hunchbacks and bare-knuckle boxers: just a few of the disparate cast of characters who call the remote moorland community of Fryupdale their home"

This is what caught my attention, when I read Mark Staniforth's interview regarding his collection of short stories in "Fryupdale"

Need more convincing:
It's a collection of tough, gritty, down-to-earth tales from a semi-fictional North Yorkshire village. There's all sorts of folk from the fringes of society: porn stars, aliens, drunks, Nazis: you name it, they're probably in it. It's loosely based on the kind of place I grew up in, so I like to think I've got a good idea about what makes the characters tick. I won't lie - if you're a fan of chick-lit or wizards this stuff might not be for you. You could say it's an antidote to Harry Potter and all the best-seller, TV book-club froth. Hopefully that will count for something in itself.

Now, it's no secret that I love the U.K. crime writing style and after just a few sentences of the first story in "Fryupdale", I was "all in".

DID I MENTION THE PRICE OF "Fryupdale" IS FREE!!!, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

You can check out the interview, more info on Mark, and the link to download a free copy HERE

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Helpful Blog Tip, Free Publicity for Novelists, and New Imprint.

Thanks to Dave Barber for an item he posted about regarding protecting your blog information, in case, as we all know can happen, Blogger experiences some quirks. Check it out HERE

Chilly most writer and blogger, Erin Cole, who hosted the tremendous 13 Days of Horror Halloween story special, is going above and beyond the call of duty, by offering free publicity for novelist at her site. Check out her writing and the details HERE

Declan Burke posted about a new imprint, Book Republic, just opening it's doors. I wish them the best of luck and you can read all about it HERE

And finally, over at Detectives Beyond Borders, host Peter Rozovsky posted about a crime novel, "Ghosted" that got my interest with this premise:
"a drug-addled, self-deluding idler who winds up with a job helping those even more desperate than he is: He ghost-writes suicide notes."

Now that is what I call a good pitch. Find out more HERE

Sunday, November 7, 2010

SAW 3D and other finds

Took my daughter to SAW 3D this weekend. We have watched all of them ( except # 6) on demand over the last month, so of course we had to see the 7th and final ( yeah right ) installment. It is what it is, when you watch a SAW movie and you know what you are in for. We loved it, and had a great time discussing the "franchise" on the way home. My wife and son decided to pass, stay home, and get in touch with their inner milquetoasts.

I saw 4 good crime themed movies on cable this week. I won't go into details or spoilers, but I think If I liked them, you might as well.

1) Brooklyn's Finest
2) Staten Island, New York
3) Life is Hot in Cracktown
4) Boondog Saints: All Saints Day

I still have not seen the first Boondog Saints, but I will soon. I have been fancying myself a new haircut, and I think I'm going with the the "boondog" style Sean Patrick Flannery has in the movie. Throw in a stache, chinbeard, and black Peacoat, and I think I'll have my winter look. Just might start wearing a scarf too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ian Fleming; Kindle author?, Declan Burke, and Mumford and Son's

Intertesting story over at Kindle Author, about how Ian Fleming's estate has bypassed his print publisher, Penguin, and are taking matters into their own hands with the digital versions of his stories. Click HERE to read more.

Over at Declan Burke's mucho cool Crime Always Pays, an exciting upate about his current WIP can be found HERE. If you have not read his novels THE BIG-O or CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, you do not know what you are missing. If you are into crime writing and reading, and are not following his blog, you are missing out, big time.

Finally, might be behind the times a bit with this band, Mumford and Sons, but when I heard this song yesterday, the chills went up my spine, the sinuses burned, and the eyes, well you get the idea. Without going into any of the sordid details of my, er, colorful past, this one goes out to my parents and my wife. Check out "THE CAVE" HERE

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My story "Charles in Charge" on Thrillers,Killers -n- Chillers & Other Updates

Had a great Halloween, which was made even better when I got an email from Col Bury, one of the esteemed editors of at KTnC, that my Halloween crime story "Charles in Charge" was posted to the site. Many of the regular vistiors to this blog have been gracious enough to give it  read. If you would like to check it out click HERE

Lots of great stories are out there from Donna Moore's Ramone's Challenge. I think I have read and commented on just about all of them and made a few new "virtual"  friends in the process, always a good thing! Donna has listed all of them HERE

Still time left to check out the tremendous new entries over at A Twist of Noir's 600 -700 challenge. You can do so HERE