April/May Noir Catch-All

It's been a busy couple of months! Between travel and scribbling away furiously as deadlines approach, the blog has taken a backseat. Here's a short recap: Noir at the Bar Crew[Left to Right - Dale Phillips, Connie Johnson Hambley, Errick Nunnally, Chris Irvin, Tony McMillen, Bracken MacLeod, Mike Miner, Stona Fitch, Patrick Shawn Bagley]

Noir at the Bar Boston II was a great success. Nine authors read some stellar fiction in front of a big crowd. Beers were drank, books were raffled, good times were had. Here's a recap courtesy of Dale Phillips. Stay tuned for news on the next event - June 15th, 6-8pm at Trident Booksellers & Cafe.

papercutsjp

Speaking of fun, Independent Bookstore Day at Papercuts J.P. was a blast. Paul Tremblay and I read some of our favorite fiction by other writers that has inspired us (Shirley Jackson, Nathan Ballingrud) and had a great chat about crime and horror. Be sure to snag Paul's A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS when it drops in June!

Here's a shot Paul took of me talking to myself...err...my doing my thing..

Papercuts

Essay

Write The Individual - a short bit on me writing from a female first person POV, the Andrew Smith debacle and advice from Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Interviews

Terribleminds: Five Things I Learned Writing BURN CARDS

One Bite at a Time - Twenty Questions

Chatteriffic

Reviews

My Bookish Ways: Read This

Bracken MacLeod - I like my Noir dark, thank you very much!

Just A Guy That Likes To Read

Chris Dikes - Despair runs deep...

Goodreads

BB3_2

Locked and Loaded: Both Barrels 3

The third volume from Shotgun Honey is out! This baby was a ton of work and took a couple of delays to come together, but I'm proud of how it turned out. Give it a look - there is some fantastic stuff within.

Featuring 25 stories of crime:

“A Boy Like Billy” by Patricia Abbott “Border Crossing” by Michael McGlade “Looking for the Death Trick” by Bracken MacLeod “Maybelle’s Last Stand” by Travis Richardson “Predators” by Marie S. Crosswell “Twenty to Life” by Frank Byrns “So Much Love” by Keith Rawson “Running Late” by Tess Makovesky “Last Supper” by Katanie Duarte “Danny” by Michael Bracken “The Plot” by Jedidiah Ayres “What Alva Wants” by Timothy Friend “Time Enough to Kill” by Kent Gowran “Copas” by Hector Acosta “Yellow Car Punch” by Nigel Bird “Love at First Fight” by Angel Luis Colón “Traps” by Owen Laukkanen “Down the Rickety Stairs” by Alan Orloff “Blackmailer’s Pep Talk” by Chris Rhatigan “With a Little bit of Luck” by Bill Baber “As Cute as a Speckled Pup Under a Red Wagon” by Tony Conaway “Chipping off the Old Block” by Nick Kolakowski “Young Turks and Old Wives” by Shane Simmons “The Hangover Cure” by Seth Lynch “Highway Six” by John L. Thompson

cover

Bouchercon!

It's official - I'll be crashing Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, NC come October. AND my buddy Joe Clifford is up for TWO Anthony Awards - LAMENTATION (Best Novel) and TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND (Best Anthology or Collection) - the latter of which is extra-awesome as it features my story, "Death to My Hometown." Hope you see you there.

Until next time...thank you to everyone for your support of BURN CARDS. Can't wait to announce what's coming next.

BURNCARDS

 

 

BURN CARDS Goodreads Giveaway

280 Steps is kicking off March with a Goodreads Giveaway for BURN CARDS

BurnCards_books**Hot off the Press**

About BURN CARDS:

Mirna Fowler believes she has been cheated in life, growing up in a broken home alone with a drunken and gambling-addicted father. Now she works at a small hair salon in Reno, doing her best to survive while she saves money for school. Hoping to get a degree that will take her places.

But in the wake of her father's death, Mirna inherits his extravagant debt, an amount of money she can never repay. As her fractured world begins to crumble, the search for the truth sets her on a path where life hangs on her every move.

Advance Praise for BURN CARDS:

“With a character you care about and a momentum you can't avoid, BURN CARDS is aces. This fast-moving novella pulses with enough energy to power all the casinos in Nevada.” - Steve Weddle, author of Country Hardball

"the shit-kicking streets of a dead end desert town have never been meaner." — Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation

"This bare-knuckle noir pulses with energy and punches hard." — William Boyle, author of Gravesend

"Irvin illuminates the city of Reno itself, casting the flickering glow of his sharp observations into every dark corner of the city and bringing forth a rogue’s gallery of gamblers, dreamers, and burnouts who are all heading for the same bitter end." — John Mantooth, author of The Year of the Storm

Feeling lucky but still want to pre-order? GOT YOU COVERED

Stay tuned for information on upcoming events & thanks for your support!

Pre-order BURN CARDS

BURNCARDSComing April 14th from 280 Steps in paperback and e-book.

Advance praise for BURN CARDS:

“With a character you care about and a momentum you can't avoid, BURN CARDS is aces. This fast-moving novella pulses with enough energy to power all the casinos in Nevada.” ---Steve Weddle, author of Country Hardball

"the shit-kicking streets of a dead end desert town have never been meaner." --- Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation

"This bare-knuckle noir pulses with energy and punches hard." --- William Boyle, author of Gravesend

"Irvin illuminates the city of Reno itself, casting the flickering glow of his sharp observations into every dark corner of the city and bringing forth a rogue’s gallery of gamblers, dreamers, and burnouts who are all heading for the same bitter end." --- John Mantooth, author of The Year of the Storm

Pre-order is live on Amazon!

Friday Listen - CRIMINAL WORDS

Sure, you've got your Friday Read, but how 'bout a Friday Listen?

criminalwords4Enter Erik Arneson and Scott Detrow with CRIMINAL WORDS, an audiobook full of crime fiction short stories — written by the likes of Joe Clifford, Jen Conley, David Cranmer (writing as Edward A. Grainger), Chris Holm, Erik Arneson, Tom Pitts, Steve Weddle, and me [woo!].

Download away [for free!] HERE. You've earned it.

Trouble in the Heartland Release

coverTrouble in the Heartland is out! (...and sold out on Amazon until January.) However you can snag a copy through Createspace for a couple extra bucks, and the e-book is always available. The collection is fantastic and I couldn't be happier to be part of such a cool project.

Here's a link to a post I did back in February about the book and the inspiration for my story.

Go forth and read!

All Due Respect #4

ADR #4 V3In need of a solid read for the weekend? Check out a brand-spanking new issue of ALL DUE RESPECT, featuring my story, "Blind Spot."

"Blind Spot" was a lot of fun to write (and read at Anthocon last year). I'm thrilled to have it appear alongside some serious talent this month.

Check it out!

From Amazon: All Due Respect is back with award-winning featured author Hilary Davidson, with hard-hitting crime fiction from Christopher Irvin, Michael Pool, William E. Wallace, Stephen D. Rogers, Michael Cebula, Joe Clifford, Travis Richardson, and CT McNeely. Plus an interview with One Eye Press Publisher Ron Earl Phillips and loads of reviews.

Trouble in the Heartland

Trouble in the HeartlandGood News! I've been keeping this one close to the vest for a while now, but as of this week it's out in the open. Excited to announce I have a story in the upcoming anthology, TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND, edited by the multi-talented (and all-around awesome) Joe Clifford. Best of all, part of the net proceeds will benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which assists veterans.

As the cover states, the collection of of over thirty stories is inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen. I'm humbled to be included alongside such incredible writers and thrilled to contribute to such an iconic project.

My story is "Death To My Hometown," inspired by the song of the same name off of Springsteen's recent album, Wrecking Ball. When selecting a song for inspiration I was struck by the Celtic-themed tune born out of the recent recession.

Though I live in Boston, a city that has fared extremely well through the economic downturn compared to other parts of the country, I've seen the effects firsthand in Michigan. My grandparents own a summer cottage outside of White Hall (Muskegon being the nearest 'city' if you are familiar with the area.) Growing up, I visited every year for a week or two during summer vacation. The small towns bustled with life, thriving on local businesses. But the last five years have been challenging. Favorite restaurants and shops have closed down, and though perhaps skewed through my now-adult eyes, it appears much of the energy has been sapped.

My story centers around Detroit, often a poster child for the worst case scenario. And while the story is dark with streaks of noir, it's not without a sense of hope. And you know what? There's a new brewery under construction in White Hall as I type. Things are looking up.

For more, check out Joe Clifford's recent blog post on how it all came together. A huge thank you to Joe, Chris Leek, Gutter Books and the Zelmer Pulp crew for including my work.

Hope you pick up a copy of the book when it lands in the next few months. Until then, I'll leave you with this.

RELOADED!

reloaded-finalcover

RELOADED BOTH BARRELS Vol 2 is out and boy is she a beaut! Available in both paperback and e-book, but with gorgeous front/back cover art from the talented Joe DellaGatta, this is a book you'll want to have on your shelf. RELOADED was a blast to work on, and I hope you all enjoy it. Hats off to fellow editors Ron Earl Phillips and Jen Conley, and a HUGE thank you to all the contributors.

SHOTGUN HONEY, the premier crime and noir flash fiction website, is locked and RELOADED with 25 new stories by some of the best authors in the world. Featuring work from Patti Abbott, Hector Acosta, Erik Arneson, Cheri Ause, Trey R. Barker, Eric Beetner, Terence Butler, Joe Clifford, Garnett Elliott, Rob W. Hart, Andy Henion, John Kenyon, Nick Kolakowski, Ed Kurtz, Frank Larnerd, Chris Leek, Mike Loniewski, Bracken MacLeod, Julia Madeleine, Brian Panowich, Terry Rietta, Rie Sheridan Rose, Ryan Sayles, Richard Thomas and John Weagly.

Available through Amazon.

Kwik Krimes

Kwik Krimes KWIK KRIMES edited by Otto Penzler drops this week, containing 81 short crime stories by some of the best writers in the field - both new and established. Featuring five stories originally published in Shotgun Honey (Erik Arneson, R. Thomas Brown, Matthew C. Funk, Jim Spry, Jim Wilsky) and other fantastic works from Shotgun Honey alum such as Patti Abbott, K.A. Laity, Joe Clifford, Tom Pitts, Eric Beetner, Dana C. Kabel and more.

Add in the likes of Christa Faust, Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Jim Fusilli, Chuck Hogan, Joe R. Lansdale, Lyndsay Faye, Andrew Klavan, Tasha Alexander and David Corbett, and you've got a must read collection.

Let's keep this series rollin'!

a book a week 1.3

Officially making this a monthly post. On to Round Three of mini-reviews: Fags and Lager Booze and Burn

Fags and Lager (retitled Booze and Burn) by Charlie Williams

"Royston Blake don't wipe arses for no fucker. I'm just being meta...you know, meta...I'm just saying like." BOOZE AND BURN has solidified the Mangel Series as some of my favorite books. I spent far too much time away after reading DEADFOLK (read my review here.) But I'm happy to say that BOOZE AND BURN held it's own and I'll be reading the next three books before the year is out. In BOOZE AND BURN, another outsider has arrived in the city of Mangel and kids are causing all kinds of disorderly mess. As Blake says so eloquently, "I'm Royston fucking Blake, and every cunt knows where I stands on outsiders. They don't scare us and I ain't fooled by their ways." The book takes place a couple of years after DEADFOLK, and Williams does a brilliant job making it stand on its own without dumping information about the events in DEADFOLK on the reader. Readers interested in a truly unique voice and a heavy dose of black humor should look no further.

Choke Hold

Choke Hold by Christa Faust

The sequel to Faust's Money Shot, CHOKE HOLD catches up with Angel Dare after the previous book's events wrap up - or so you think. CHOKE HOLD succeeds because of its believable characters and story. This isn't just an episodic series where characters heal and get a fresh restart. There are real consequences for Angel's actions and it's been great to watch her grow (and survive) over two novels. Hoping for a third!

junkie

Junkie Love by Joe Clifford

JUNKIE LOVE is a compelling wild ride in which Clifford lays his soul bare and pulls no punches. I think another reviewer may have described it best as "making you feel like you're rubbernecking a multi-car accident on the highway." To me, it felt like watching a swimmer come up for a little less air each time before dunking their face back in to take another stroke. A fascinating story and one hell of a gutsy book.

A Wind of Knives

A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz

Having enjoyed Kurtz's action-packed entry in the Sam Truman series, I was eager to pick up his latest novella. I'm a big fan of Westerns, though more through film and television than in print. I've read a lot of Western short stories but nothing novella/novel length. I went into A WIND OF KNIVES without reading the back cover blurb or any reviews, and I was pleasantly surprised with the direction Kurtz took with his tale of revenge. A WIND OF KNIVES is a story about love and revenge, but also about change. The novella takes place during the Civil War. A time of great upheaval when men were being conscripted into the Confederate Army and law enforcement spread thin between common crimes, deserters and the 'Indian threat.' It's during this time that the protagonist, Daniel Hays, finds his ranch hand (and lover) tortured and hanged by a gang of hateful men. What follows is a fast-paced tale full of memorable characters and events that will stand up well next to any Western piece of fiction.

Babyjuice

Baby Juice by Brian Panowich

Being a fan of Zelmer Pulp, how could I not snap up a kindle single with a title like BABY JUICE? Panowich's sample of the upcoming Zelmer Pulp weird west collection introduces Harmon Brown, more beast than man and haunted by his past. BABY JUICE contains a lot of background on Brown that I hope Panowich delves into in future tales. BABY JUICE is an action-packed romp through 1880's Dodge City, teeming with weird western flair that made me wish I still had my old Deadlands books. Looking forward to more Weird Westerns.

asylum front 2013 new

Asylum - 13 Tales of Terror by Matt Drabble

I'm a sucker for asylum horror. From Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island to House on Haunted Hill (yes, I'll admit even the remake possessed a few parts I enjoyed). So Matt Drabble's ASYLUM - 13 TALES OF TERROR was right up my alley. The book follows Martin Parcell, former writer turned janitor at the Blackwater Heights hospital. I enjoyed the stories from Martin's perspective and learning about the patients and staff at the hospital, how they came to be there and why they remain. A few of the stories contained truly chilling moments and were just the right length to keep me coming back for more.