2016 Books: Round-Up

I’m woefully behind on reviews, having more or less come to the conclusion that I will never catch up and therefore must stop agreeing to try. Here are a few in brief that I can’t help mentioning.

IT’S ALL TRUE (ALTHOUGH IT MAY NOT HAVE HAPPENED): Bratkovič has a collection of stories that offers a noir take with a lot of mordant humour. His protagonists usually manage to cock things up through their best efforts to succeed and by wanting more than their abilities can produce. My favourite is probably ‘The Tribe’ in which a messianic leader wreaks havoc in a mental institution. ‘The Tie’ and ‘The Bicycle Thieves’ make the most of the blackest of black humour. Check it out.

BUFFALO AND SOUR MASH: Richard Godwin, known best for his sleek and sexy thrillers tries something new here: a Western! Well, sort of a western because the rodeo comes to Surrey. Now if that doesn’t already intrigue you, there’s also his usual mix of psychotic violence and sexual obsession as well. Murphy has a single-minded plan to bring the rodeo to the UK until he finds a new obsession to get racy Rhona to be its star — but Rhonda has plans of her own. If you like Godwin’s style, you’ll be intrigued by his appropriation of the western.

DARK MINDS: I’m only a few stories into this collection but I wholeheartedly recommend it. Solid quality and a good cause: All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal. There are forty authors here, some the top of the field, many are exciting newcomers (and yeah, folks I know but then I only hang out with quality). In hard times we turn to crime: at least keep it fictional, right? Because we have enough crime to deal with in the government 😉

RAISE THE BLADE: Tess had a fab story in an anthology I edited so I was really pleased to see her publish a novella with Caffeine Nights. Then I decided to save it up for when I could savour it — and forgot! So I’ve cracked it open and it’s just as terrific as I knew it would be. In fact it’s been hard to tear myself away from it to do the things I need to be doing, but I highly recommend it. Tess has a great style that’s deceptively easy-going until WHAM! Pick this up.

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Coming Soon: You Left Your Biscuit Behind

New crime coming atcha soon: from Fox Spirit Books it’s You Left Your Biscuit Behind. Here’s a teaser from my noir story with a twist, “Elf Prefix”:

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-07-56-26

Yes, of course that title’s a nod to a Fall song. Did you expect any less?

Anthony Award Win

Art Taylor shared this photo from Bouchercon

Art Taylor shared this photo from Bouchercon.

Wow, what great news to hear — especially because I had to miss Bouchercon this year, sob! — that MURDER UNDER THE OAKS edited by Art Taylor won the Anthony for best anthology. I think my hand’s still sore from signing all the copies we did at last year’s Bouchercon but it was totally worth it. I’m grateful for Thomas Pluck reminding me of the due date so I got ‘Life Just Bounces’ in just before the deadline. Tom also had a terrific anthology up for the award PROTECTORS 2: HEROES which includes my short story ‘Mesquite’ which I’m planning to use as the start of a novel. Great to be rubbing such prestigious shoulders.

Click the images to check out the full ToC for each:

Exiles: An Outsider Anthology

exiles artizan

The all new version of Exiles: An Outsider Anthology – now published by Artizan– is out now!

A powerful short story collection was edited by the Bukowski of Noir, Paul D. Brazill. Exiles features 26 outsiders-themed stories by some of the greatest crime and noir writers, K. A. Laity, Chris Rhatigan, Steven Porter, Patti Abbott, Ryan Sayles, Gareth Spark, Pamila Payne, Paul D. Brazill, Jason Michel, Carrie Clevenger, David Malcolm, Nick Sweeney, Sonia Kilvington, Rob Brunet, James A. Newman, Tess Makovesky, Chris Leek, McDroll, Renato Bratkovič, Walter Conley, Marietta Miles, Aidan Thorn, Benjamin Sobieck, Graham Wynd, Richard Godwin, Colin Graham, and an introduction by Heath Lowrance.

Grab it from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and every other Amazon.

Triple Whammy!

Wow, great news! The Anthony awards are out and I’m quite pleased to find myself in two nominated anthologies. My story ‘Life Just Bounces’ is in Murder Under the Oaks edited by Art Taylor and my tale ‘Mesquite’ appears in Protectors 2: Heroes which Thomas Pluck edited. I owe Tom a double debt of gratitude because he reminded me about the deadline for the Bouchercon anthology and I hastily turned my short comic play into a story just in time. Great to see so many folks I know on the list of nominees — it’s going to be a tough ballot to decide on in New Orleans.

And hey! That Frank Duffy has an interview up with me on Facebook. It’s public so you should be able to see it here. Fun interview to do. You should check out the other interviews Frank has done with folks on his author page.

Pulpcore

Hey, do you like some fine German-language noir? Look no further than PULPCORE! Now available and FREE! Kostenlos! Get stuck in. Practice your German or give it to you friends. As you can see it’s a stellar lineup.

Coming: Pulpcore

Brush up your Deutsche sprach with some of the premiere names in horror und crime. Coming soon from Pulpcore, die anthologie wird sein kostenlos! Drop by Facebook to give them a like, schnell.

Includes my Fall-inspired story ‘Nenn’ mich nicht Liebling’ AKA ‘Don’t Call Me Darling’ from Cerebral Caustic. Not sure if the stories will be in both languages. I shall investigate.

Get DRUNK for Free!

Yes, you can get the brand-spanking-new edition of Drunk on the Moon: A Roman Dalton Anthology for FREE! Thanks to Mr Brit Grit himself, Paul D Brazill, who created the werewolf detective and the crazy City he prowls. Take a gander at the contents:

Drunk On The Moon by Paul D Brazill

The Darke Affair by Allan Leverone

It’s a Curse by K A Laity

Insatiable by B R Stateham

Fear the Night by Julia Madeleine

Back to Nature by Jason Michel

Getting High on Daisy by Richard Godwin

Silver Tears by John Donald Carlucci

A Fire in the Blood by Katherine Tomlinson

Broken Bicycles by Graham Wynd

Yep, that’s right, I’ve got a story in this new edition where I get to take Mr B’s world for a little spin. You can make out like Ton Ton Philippe and snatch it up for free but you better act fast. Click the cover above to buy or just here.

Paladins: Out Now!

Click on the image to buy: ebook or paperback, the choice is yours.

Paladin: noun, historical – a warrior that is fully devoted to kindness and ridding the universe of evil. Paladins is an apt description for the contributors to this charity anthology. This publication has been put together by a whole community of writers who have each written a story especially for this title. The stories all feature a person, or persons in distress and with someone, the knight-errant coming to their aid. Sounds cosy doesn’t it? Well, did I mention that the contributors write gritty tales and have crazed imaginations? Expect pain. Expect violence. Expect…the unexpected. But most of all, expect great stories, written with heart. This anthology was inspired by a very special lady called Henrietta Furchtenicht who was given six months to live when she was diagnosed with Mulitple Myeloma over four years ago – Henri’s battle continues. All proceeds from this book will be going to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Paladins: The Trailer!

Mark Wilson has cut a trailer to get you hyped for the release of Paladins. This charity anthology is going to be big!

henri-marcius  henri-jaggers  Inevitable - Stories for Henry  henri-nixonMore teaser images to come!

Coming Soon: Paladins

About the end of February there will be a new anthology put together by Aidan Thorn to honour of the courage of Henrietta Furchtenicht. These gritty stories have one other thing in common: they’re all about people who step up to the fight because they see someone in need. All proceeds from the sales will be donated to Myeloma Foundation.

From Henrietta’s foreword:

A few years ago I would have never imagined myself writing these words on the night before Christmas 2015. When my oncologist first diagnosed me with Multiple Myeloma in June of 2012 he only gave me 6 months to live. I was already in the last stage of this rare form of blood cancer that attacks the plasma cells found in the bone marrow. At the time of my diagnosis I had seven broken ribs on my left side. He told me that there was no cure for my type of cancer. We could only treat it to the point of remission with high doses of chemotherapy and stem cell transplants. This is when I was first introduced to Dr. Guido Tricot, the finest oncologist that Belgium has ever produced. He has kept me alive, though at times I thought he was trying to kill me in the process…

Table of Contents

Foreword – Henrietta Furchtenicht
Heir to the Throne – Keith Nixon
Jabs and Uppercuts – Jason Beech
Free Fall – Bill Baber
Strangers in Vegas – Aidan Thorn
Regarding Henri – Darren Sant
Uncle Jim – Ryan Bracha
The Caller – Cal Marcius
Deathsmell – Linda Angel
Pass the Parcel – Robert Cowan
Then Tommy Came Home – Craig Furchtenicht
The Burned Earth – Gareth Spark
Take My Pain – Matt Mattila
Inevitable – Graham Wynd (Kate Laity)
Low and Outside – Christopher Davis
Balancing the Scales – Dave Jaggers
Back in the Day – Gabriel Valjan

My story ‘Inevitable’ is a creepy tale of nuisance neighbours that gets more and more dangerous as the hours pass by and the vengeance escalates. Yes, of course it’s also a Fall song title.

In the coming days I’ll give some more teasers of what’s in store from this great slate of writers, writing from the heart — and kicking you in the gut.