Louie the Cat Surgery Sale!

Let me tell you about my cats!

Louie is an 18 pound love beast that we rescued from a chicken wire cage in someone’s garage, where we were told he was “vicious.” He jumped into our arms and mauled us with nuzzles. We learned later that his meanness toward others was due to allergies causing chronic infections that ruptured his eardrums. We’ve tried expensive treatments, but the vet says the best course now is to permanently drain his bad ear.

So it’s time for a book sale! I have copies of Bad Boy Boogie, Life During Wartime, and Blade of Dishonor. $16 each shipped US, or $15 each for 2 or more. All signed or inscribed, plus a free gift from my hoard of books, comics, and silliness! And cat hair.

Contact me via this form if interested.DpolbuJW0AAynoG.jpg_large.jpg

 

Noir at the Bar Everywhere on 10/28 for the Swierczynski Family

Duane Swierczynski is a mensch.

I first met him at a Comics Day walk for charity in Flemington, where he showed up to help a fan raise money for victims of domestic violence. And he’s a hell of a writer, too. From the heist classic The Wheelman to the over the top action thrillers that make up the Charlie Hardy trilogy, to countless comics and the should-be-a-movie-already fun as hell Severance Package to his latest mystery Revolver, Duane has been at the cutting edge of crime for years. If you haven’t read his books, you’ve certainly read books by writers influenced and encouraged by him, like yours truly. He’s given us a lot. And now, we give back.

His daughter Evie has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. She is in the hospital out in L.A. and the crime fiction community has been helping by donating plasma and cash to their GoFundMe campaign, and you can give to that here:

Donate to Help Team Evie!

And on October 28th, dozens of writers across the world get together to help fund her treatment and recovery. In Los Angeles, St. Louis, Washington D.C., London, Queens New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Asbury Park New Jersey, you can hear grandmasters like Lawrence Block, stars like Megan Abbott, Jason Starr, Alison Gaylin, Christa Faust, Gary Phillips, and Attica Locke, rising rockets like Kellye Garrett, Jordan Harper.  Jay Stringer, and Rob Hart, and newer authors like myself and many many more. I wish I could generate clones to see all of these at once. I hope everyone records them! And we’ll be raffling off signed books and goodies at all the events. Please join us for an unforgettable night of entertainment and good will towards a crime family who’s given us so much.

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A Distinguished Deadbeat

No, not talking about ex-Congressman Joe Walsh, but my short story “Deadbeat”, which first appeared in Down & Out Magazine’s first issue, and is collected with 20 other stories in Life During Wartime.

I was thrilled when I learned that my story of ironworkers in the recklessly paced world of Manhattan construction was chosen as a Distinguished Mystery Story of 2017, in the honorable mentions section of The Best American Mystery Stories 2018, edited by Louise Penny and Otto Penzler. Thank you both for including me, and thanks to editor Rick Ollerman for helping hammer the story into shape! He knows what he’s doing.

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If you want to read the Best stories of last year, pick up the 2018 edition when it is released in October. If you would like to read “Deadbeat,” you’ll have to buy a copy of Life During Wartime at The Mysterious Bookshop or Watchung Booksellers–they both have signed copies–or from your favorite store or retailer. Here are links to most, at my publisher’s site.

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Congratulations to all the other honorees, but especially Reed Farrel Coleman, SJ Rozan,  and Al Tucher, they keep putting out the good stuff. And if you check out Reed’s novel Colorblind, latest in the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone series, you’ll find someone named Tommy… my thanks for helping him with his laptop in Milwaukee last year. Surprisingly, he didn’t kill me, or make me a drunk demonstrating Krav Maga moves. Thanks, Reed!

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Or you can hear me read from it at Noir at the Bar on 9/28, at Kew & Willow books in Queens, with  whole bunch of great writers. I will also announce here that on March 23rd 2019, I will be moderating a panel of New Jersey crime writers at the Montclair Literary Fest, with Dave White, Jen Conley, and Wallace Stroby. Joyce Carol Oates will also be attending the festival and we may bring our cats on leashes. So please bring cat toys to keep them from running amok. (the cats. for the writers, bring booze).

Noir at the Bar Queens 9/28

I will be reading at Noir at the Bar Queens, September 28th! Held at Kew & Willow Books, hosted by Alex Segura and Scott Adlerberg. They have really raised the bar (no pun intended) and run a great reading series. I’ll be reading from Riff Raff, the second Jay Desmarteaux novel, which will be released by Down & Out Books in autumn 2019. A great line-up: Kelly Braffett, Radha Vatsal, SJ Rozan, Carrie Smith, Hilary Davidson, Dave White, Wallace Stroby, Lee Matthew Goldberg, Nick Kolakowski, Hector Acosta, David Gordon, Jen Doll, and our hosts. It’s always been a good time, and a very short walk from the train. 

It also looks like I’ll be reading at the New York Public Library on Halloween about writing supernatural stories–like “Truth Comes Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind” and “The Summer of Blind Joe Death” among others–and I’ll share more details once I know. Damn right, I will be in costume…

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Two Free Stories for your Reading Pleasure…

Summer is nearly over, but you can always use a summer read.

Here are two short stories you may have missed.

First, I’m very happy to have stories in two new venues, Tough Crime, edited by Rusty Barnes, and Retreats from Oblivion, the Journal of NoirCon. I was sad to see crime fiction mags close shop, and I’m grateful that these editors have given us new ones.

cement truck train crashThe Third Jump of Frankie Buffalo” is a pure hard-boiled crime story that draws on my days working at the docks in Newark, inspired by getting stuck in traffic at a railroad crossing. Tough Crime is publishing a lot of great stuff by new writers like Shawn A. Cosby and established authors, including one by Matthew Lyons that will appear in this year’s Best American Short Stories, edited by Roxane Gay. That’s amazing for such a new venue.

branch brook parkThe Forest for the Trees” first appeared in The Flash Fiction Offensive but didn’t reach a lot of people, so I am glad Retreats from Oblivion chose to reprint a new edit. It is a noir love story and very personal, set in the neighborhood I grew up in. I heard a lot of street racing stories growing up and a cousin totaled his Corvette and was scarred for life, hiding the wreck in a garage from police. I myself never raced, but I once wrapped my Mustang around a tree after hitting some ice, and drove it home, engine smoking. The police followed the smell. They wanted to charge me with leaving the scene of an accident, but I asked them if the tree was pressing charges and they let me go.

cover-pluck-life-during-wartime-1800x2700pxI hope you enjoy these stories. If you like them, I am selling signed copies of my story collection Life During Wartime for $16 shipped. You can reply to this email if you want a personalized copy. If you bundle it with Blade of Dishonor or Bad Boy Boogie, the books are $15 each (so, $30 for 2, $45 for all three).

 

Bouchercon 2018 – where I’ll be

I’ll be on the Bouchercon panel for Anthony award nominees for Best Paperback Original with James W. Ziskin, Lori Rader-Day, Eryk Pruitt, and Nadine Nettmann on Friday Sept. 7th at 3pm, moderated by Greg Herren! Come meet us, we don’t bite. Unless that will buy your vote.

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I am not on or moderating any other panels this year. I will be in the audience at Noir at the Bar on Thursday, and attending the awards ceremony of course. Other than that, I’ll be wandering various panels, the book room, and the bar when I’m not out taking in the sights. If I am found dead in a ditch, it is because Pruitt lured me to a fried food joint and poisoned me. Check under my fingernails for his DNA. I will scratch him good.

Panels and whatnot that I am likely to attend…

1:00 PM Thursday: Bang Pow! with Neliza Drew, Wallace Stroby

5:00 PM Thursday: Tim Dorsey interviewed by Jersey Girl Amy Stewart, author of the killer Ms. Kopp mysteries. Dorsey writes some wild stuff himself. Those two in a room? I’m there.

11:00 AM Friday: Criminal Protagonists. My buddy Josh Stallings and other crook lovers like Eric Beetner.

12:00 PM Friday: The Sex Panel, to hang with Hilary Davidson. Catriona McPherson, and Christa Faust.

4:00 PM Friday: Fight Me! Unpopular opinions about Crime Fiction, with Kristin Sullivan, Renee Pickup, Danny Gardner, Kieran Shea.

5:00 PM Friday: Lawrence Block interviews Ian Rankin.

4:00 PM Saturday: The Building Blocks of Crime Fiction, with Laura Lippman, Peter Blauner, Robert Olen Butler, Lawrence Block, and Jill Block.

There are a lot of new faces on the panels, for which I am glad. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Bad Boy Boogie Summer Sale

My Anthony-nominated crime thriller Bad Boy Boogie is part of the Down & Out Books summer e-book sale!

Megan Abbott calls it “lean, smart, and irresistibly compelling,” and Mysterious Book Report calls it “one awesomely entertaining summer read.” So, hop on over to the Down & Out Books Summer Promotion page to get any e-book version for only $2.99!

Megan’s newest thriller, Give Me Your Hand, is out this week–and needless to say you should check it out. No one does it like she does. A PhD in noir and a pen like an obsidian sacrificial dagger, that one…

Prefer a paperback? Email me using this Contact Form, I’ll beat the Amazon price of $17.95 AND sign it for you for $15 shipped. Got it already? I also have a few copies of Unloaded edited by Eric Beetner with Joe Lansdale and others, Life During Wartime, and Blade of Dishonor all with their cover price of $17.95 slashed to $15 each, free shipping in the US48.

(And if you’ve bought books directly from me before, you know there will be Super Secret Surprise Gifts.)

If you like e-book bundles, they have cracking good crime by Albert Tucher, Marietta Miles, Jack Getze, Linda Sands, and more:

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