Murder-a-Go-Gos gets a cover! We got the beatdown….

 

I’ve been a huge fan of the Go-Go’s since I first saw the video for “Our Lips Are Sealed” on MTV as a twelve year old boy, and I still sing along with their hits in the car, and if enough beer has been applied, at karaoke.
So I was thrilled to be the one who got to write “We Got the Beat.” You can meet the Beat Girls in March 2019. There will be a launch in L.A. and one in April at The Mysterious Bookshop. It’s coming from Down & Out Books and looks wonderful, with a lineup that includes Hilary Davidson, Lori Rader Day, Susanna Calkins, Lisa Brackmann, Nadine Nettmann, Eric Beetner, Patricia Abbott, editor Holly West herself, and an introduction from Go-Go Janet Wiedlin!
Here’s the beautiful cover that puts the Go-Go’s in a fittingly ’80s-style ’50s homage!

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The blurbs are totally awesome:

“I always suspected that twinkle in the Go-gos’ eyes was a coded invitation to a darker world. In the hands of these 25 stellar crime fiction writers, “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” become evil little gems. A totally rad read.” —Alan Hunter, Original MTV VJ, SiriusXM Host

“Shock and Awe, that sums up my reaction to MURDER-A-GO-GO’S. Shock to live in times when “The Whole World Lost Its Head” and awe at the response of these gifted writers. Buckle up for a ride that will leave “Skidmarks on Your Heart.” —Sara Paretsky, best-selling author of the V.I. Warshawski crime series

“Who knew those happy songs by one of my all-time favorite bands, the Go-Go’s, could inspire such dark, noir, spine tingling stories?!! It’s a collection of tales of distinctly female rage—the murderous kind and other wise—to keep you up at night!”—Alison Arngrim, TV’s Nellie Oleson and NY Times bestselling author, CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH

It’s available for pre-order, and I’m sure you’ll go head over heels for it. All proceeds go to benefit Planned Parenthood.

Pre-Order Link: Murder-A-Go-Go’s at Down and Out Books

Skin & Bones Launch at The Mysterious Bookshop

Today the new anthology SKIN AND BONES, edited by Dana C. Kabel, is available from Down & Out Books, and it includes my story of the gastronomic excesses of the upper crust, “The Cronus Club.”

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Skin & Bones features stories by Patricia Abbott, Charles Ardai, Lawrence Block, Joe Clifford, Angel Luis Colón, the late Bill Crider, Glenn Gray, Tim Hall, Rob Hart, Tess Makovesky, Terrence McCauley, Marietta Miles, Richie Narvaez, Stuart Neville, Ryan Sayles, S.A. Solomon, Jason Starr, Liam Sweeny, Dave Zeltserman, and Dana C. Kabel.

And some of us–last I heard, Lawrence Block, Mr. Kabel, Suzanne Solomon, and Charles Ardai–will be attending the launch event on December 3rd at The Mysterious Bookshop. I don’t know if finger sandwiches will be served, but there’s usually beer and wine, so join us for libations at the cathedral to crime fiction. Things usually kick off around 6:30, and it should be a good time.

 

At Home in the Dark and Skin & Bones

Why hello there, Dear Readers!
I hope November is treating you well. I binged on horror movies last month, and a favorite of mine is Night of the Creeps, where the exasperated detective fighting the deadly menace answers the phone with “Thrill me.” What’s thrilled you, lately?

I’m thrilled to have a story in Lawrence Block’s latest anthology, At Home in the Dark, a cross-genre dark fiction collection including stories by LB himself, Joe Hill, Joyce Carol Oates, Hilary Davidson, Richard Chizmar, Duane Swierczynski, Warren Moore, Wallace Stroby, Ed Park, Laura Benedict, Joe R. Lansdale and more. My story is the first in a new series, “The Cucuzza Curse,” following mob fixer Joe Cucuzza as he investigates a deadly pizzeria rivalry, where the mal occhio–the evil eye–has been employed. Inspired by my time working at the docks and a tribute to the late Anthony Bourdain, this story was a joy to write, however dark it may be, and I think you’ll dig it. At Home in the Dark will first be issued in a limited edition of 500 hardcovers from Subterranean Press, and will be available for pre-order soon. For now, you can check out the snazzy cover:

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LB always puts together a fine anthology and I’m honored to be in my third. Getting asked for a story by one of your literary heroes turns up the pressure to write your absolute very best, and the critics agree. “The Big Snip” from Dark City Lights was chosen for The Year’s Best Crime & Mystery Stories 2016, and Library Journal singled out “Truth Comes Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind” in Alive in Shape and Color as “stunning,” in a collection full of gems by literary legends. So I hope you’ll enjoy “The Cucuzza Curse” as much as I enjoyed writing it, because you’ll be seeing more of Joey Cucuzza…

What’s a cucuzza? It’s a large green Italian squash shaped like a baseball bat, that we make into a savory vegetable stew, but thanks to its size and shape, it is also slang for the male member, by those who indulge in wishful thinking:

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Hold onto your cucuzzas! (or the nearest similarly shaped object) there’s one more book to talk about. This one’s been in the works for five years or so, and I’m glad it is finally seeing the light. Skin & Bones, edited by Dana Kabel, will be released this month from Down & Out Books. It includes stories by Lawrence Block, Patti Abbott, Jason Starr, Angel Luis Colon, Stuart Neville, Marietta Miles, Joe Clifford, S.A. Solomon, Rob Hart, Tess Makovesky, Tim Hall, Charles Ardai, Glenn Gray, Liam Sweeny, and the late Bill Crider, among others. My story is “The Cronus Club,” about an exclusive society of extreme epicureans. You can pre-order it from your local bookstore or the usual online suspects like Barnes & Noble, in ebook or paperback. Another snazzy cover, don’t you think?

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That should get you hungry for Thanksgiving, which I’ll be spending in Louisiana, as I put the final edits on Riff Raff, the second Jay Desmarteaux novel. Our two-fisted smart-cracking bruiser wades hip deep into the swamp to bushwhack his way to the heart of darkness in the delta, following the blood trail of his own evil lineage, and kill the tree at the root….

 

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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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).

 

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:

2018-07-18 10_18_19-SUMMER 2018 PROMOTION! – Down & Out Books