Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review - Hill Country

I've got lots of reviews to post on stuff I think you'll really dig, but you're gonna have to be patient as I've also got beers to drink, fights to start and a tortoise that's needs vacuuming.

Okay, okay don't get your panties in a bunch here you go.

When I got the Kindle thingy, R. Thomas Brown's 'Hill Country' was the first read I paid cash money for and it proved to be a hell of a bang for a measly couple of bucks.

Finding the mutilated body of a pedophile on his front porch, is just the start of Gabe Hill's bad news. What follows is a mess of trouble left in the wake of his estranged, dope dealing brother. Gabe plays both the hunter and the hunted in this South Texas safari and with the dubious help of a smokin' hot Wanda, he embarks on a dangerous trip through an underbelly populated with double crossing low-lifes, psycho cultists and assorted badass dudes.

Just so as you know, this book is not for those of you with a delicate disposition. (If you're one of them nervous types, you really shouldn't be here anyway. BOO! See don't say I didn't warn you.) 'Hill Country' is a fast paced and very well written tale that has a dusting of dark humor and more grit than, well... something exceptionally gritty.
You'll find it hitching along the highway in between horror and noir. You really should pull over and give it a ride. 

You can get your very own copy to love and cherish: Right Here

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Easy Money

Okay, so here's the deal, I wrote this bizarre little tale and I don't have a clue what to do with it. I could just leave it to rot on my hard drive (or maybe send it to Jerry Springer), but I figure that's no way to treat your words.
I don't post much of my own stuff here and there are probably lots of good reasons for that, but what the hell...

There ain’t nothing like walking out them gates a free man and feeling the sun on your face. Take it from one who knows, getting out is just about the finest thing in this world, it’s better than beer or whiskey, maybe even pussy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m planning on getting reacquainted with all three of them just as soon as I can.

I got myself busted for a job me and this guy, Sully pulled up in Spring Creek. I had the kind of debts no honest man could pay and Sully told me he was always looking for a little easy money. First Mutual Savings & Loan had plenty of that, all it took was the stones to go get it.

The way it’s done is to go in hard like you mean it, don’t take no shit and only hit the cash draws. Forget the vault, it takes too long and it’ll hang you out to dry, by the time you get done playing around back there you got SWAT throwing you a party in the parking lot. The cash draws are quick and dirty, like a good whore.

That’s how Sully and me hit it, we didn’t hurt nobody and breezed out with a stone cold 30 grand. Afterwards we split the take we went our own ways. I stashed most of mine out at the Johnson place, coffee cans under the floor, safer than any bank I know. I was too busy congratulating myself to notice some of those bills were marked and when I started spreading them around on cheap booze and cheaper women that was all she wrote. I don’t know what Sully had planned, that weren’t my business. All I know is they caught him laying heavy at the Stud tables up in Reno.

I got whacked up with a five stretch, the judge figured I was the brains of the outfit, if you can believe that. Sully-boy got off with an easy three, leastways it should have been. Some people ain’t cut out for the joint and I suppose Sully’s just one of them. He never wrote me or nothing so I don’t know the truth of it, but I heard he spent most of his term getting nailed by a 300lb sister called Daisy Duke. That’s a hard way to live, when all you got to look forward to is a reach around from a gorilla.

Still the past is done. I paid my dues mister and I got a letter from the parole board to prove it. People say that prison changes a man. It changed me. I’m free and clear now and that’s just how it’s gonna stay. From what I hear it sure changed Sully too. He calls himself Stardust now, spent what was left of his cut on a pair of sit-up-and-beg titties and big ghetto booty. He or maybe I should say she's working down in Vegas, selling it to high rollers who go that way for 250 bucks a ride. I guess it’s a living but it don’t sound much like easy money to me. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Something for the Weekend Sir?

I guess I'm old school when it comes to reading, you can probably tell that by the fact I didn't use the word skool. What can I tell you, I love books, always have. I've been packing shelves with them since I was a kid and it's strangely comforting just to have them around me. *Resists the urge to go all 'my precioussss' over a copy of Donald Ray's Knockemstiff*. But the world moves on and sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and move on with it.

So okay, now I've got myself a Kindle, but hey, I'm not about to become one of 'those' guys. Neither will I start singing songs around the camp fire, getting all melancholy about when books were made out of paper and gas was only 10c and you didn't have to lock your door at night and... damn it, now I'm depressed. Anyway, e-books are not necessarily the future, but they are defiantly part of it.

The real reason I stumped up and bit the Kindle bullet, is the thing gives me access to some fantastic writers whose work just doesn’t (as yet) show up on the print bookshelves, at least not on this side of the pond.

So if you don't spend enough of your life staring at a screen already and are looking for some e-reading this summer; maybe for your vacation, or because you live in the UK and the rain has turned all your paperbacks to unintelligible mush, here are a few kick ass stories that I really enjoyed.

Beautiful, Naked & Dead – Josh Stallings
This hard boiled road trip from East L.A. to the illegal brothels of Nevada is one hell of a ride. (Review coming soon)

Hellbender – Jason Jack Miller
A story of love and revenge, stained with blood and dark magic in the hills of Appalachia. (See my review below)

Hill Country – R.Thomas Brown
A great mix of horror, noir and even a little humor, set in the Texas back country. (Review coming soon)

That Damned Coyote Hill & The Long Black Train – Heath Lowrance
Two fine tales of western Weirdness. (See my review below)

For little more than loose change you can download them all at that big, evil, but damn convenient Amazon website.

Do I really need to do the linky thing? Nah, I didn't think so.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review – The Long Black Train

In case you missed it, that hard eyed righter of wrongs, Hawthorne is back for another ride through the way out weirdness of Heath Lowrance's wild west.

This time the gritty gunslinger is on the trail murderer, Bill Cobb, but he finds something far worse waiting for him on board the down bound ride to Santa Fe.

If you have read Hawthorne's first outing 'That Damned Coyote Hill' then 'The Long Black Train' is more of the same; a brilliant mix of noir western and gut wrenching horror. This tale sits somewhere between short story and novelette and is perfect to read while you sit gazing out at the torrential down pouring of a UK summer. (It's raining so hard here the animals are starting to pair up).

This non-stop express will take you all the way, so climb aboard and enjoy the ride, but don't sit next to the fat man!

Yours on the Kindle for a buck and change. Go on treat yourself: Amazon

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Redheaded Woman

This has been an awesome week for my pen jockeying and I must beg your indulgence in my self indulgence just one more time.

Those of you who regularly paw the sticky, virtual pages at 'The Flash Fiction Offensive' will know that this illegitimate son has been welcomed back into the bosom of it's family and is now hosted on the main 'Out of the Gutter' site.

Joe Clifford is the new warden of this institution and I'm delighted to say that after only minimal blackmailing he has kindly taken one of my own bastard children under his wing. This kid would probably shank you with a screwdriver for your change, but she'd say thank you afterwards. (I raise 'em with manners.)

Big cyber chocolate cookies and my eternal thanks go out to all of you who take the trouble to read my ink stained scribbles. Muchas kudos and the key to the mini bar for those who tweet, blog and generally pimp my stuff. I love you all, but not, you know, in that kind of way. (I'm talking to you Steve from Flat Rock, what part of '100 yards at all times' are you not understanding?)

So if you're game for another blast of short stuff, 'A Redheaded Woman' is the story of Tammy and Deke, well part of it anyway and you can find it here:
Out of the Gutter - A Redheaded Woman

If it hits the spot, please post a comment and let me know!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Drinks at Romero's

How about this for a very cool start to the week. Today I'm up at that legendary home of hard boiled bad ass, Shotgun Honey. I have been pretty stoked about this ever since the honoable Mr. Phillips told me I'd made the cut.

Drinks at Romero's is the story of Kelly, a hard working girl just trying to make her living in a man's world.

I've saved you a stool at the bar and ordered another jug of Strawberry Margaritas, so won't you join me for a drink?
Click here to raise your glass: Shotgun Honey - Drinks at Romero's

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review - Hellbender

I'll start right off by saying, along with Donald Ray Pollock's Devil All The time, Hellbender is the best damn book I have read this year.

Set deep in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, where blood feuds simmer on back country stoves and old hill magic is more deadly than the bite of a Copperhead. Hellbender is a glorious mix of modern day murder and ancient magic. Spells and hexes are just another weapon to be wielded in the long running war between the Collins and Lewis families.

Tight plotting and well drawn characters carry you along effortlessly through the twists and turns of a rollicking good tale; through impenetrable laurel hells and over bare mountain tops to the book's breathless and bloody conclusion.

Jason Jack Miller has a real feel for the country and people of which he writes. He paints his Appalachia with such captivating detail, that you can almost smell woodsmoke from the cooking fires and taste the burn of old Pap's stump whiskey.

If fact why are you wasting your time reading this review when you could be enjoying all this for yourself. Hurry now, go and buy it, there's not a moment to loose.

Henry Collins might not believe in magic, but I do, Jason Jack Miller writes it!

If you want more, you'll find it here: Jason Jack Miller

Go-Go is a Go-Go

A quick update on Victor Gischler's plans for more of post apocalyptic mayhem with Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse II – The Luxury Wars.

The Kickstarter campaign has blown away the initial $3000 target in just a few days, so Victor has upped the ante. Here's the word from the man himself. 

Well, you guys are awesome. Not only have we blown past our goal, but all of the "name a character" rewards are SOLD OUT. 
I am amazed by and grateful for the enthusiasm. But with over 30 days left to go on this Kickstarter Project I think it's traditional to "stretch" toward a new goal. So if 3000 clams gets us a novel, simple math tells us 6000 clams gets us TWO novels. If we blow past the 6000 dollar goal as fast as we did the first goal, I really DON'T see offering a fourth novel, so I'll be hard put to think of a new goal. But the post-apocalyptic landscape I've created is definitely rich enough for a GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE III.

So, if we meet the 6000 dollar goal, everyone who has pledged at the 5 dollar level or up gets TWO novels. You don't have to pledge one cent more. But it would help if you nudged any of your pals who read and enjoyed the first book to get in on the action.

You heard it straight, there's still plenty of time to grab a ride on this carnival of chaos. So get along to Kickstarter and give, give give: Go here to Go-Go!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spare Parts

First up, I feel I should apologize as this is going to be another me,me,me post. But hey it's my blog so I'm going to do it anyway.
The summer edition of Hobo Camp Review is out and includes my scribblings in the form of 'Spare Parts'.
I actually wrote this piece some time ago and promptly forgot all about, but when James Duncan said his next issue would have a Texas theme, a faint bell started sounding. So after I got back from the ice cream truck, I sent him my story. Many thanks to James for giving it a home on his wonderful site.
If you can find a moment, in amongst the time honored traditions of drinking too much and blowing things up, please go and check it out:
Hobo Camp Review - Spare Parts

Y'all have a happy Independence Day, d'ya hear!

Monday, July 2, 2012


I am delighted to say that my short story 'Nebraska' is up today at the excellent Downer Magazine.
Growing up can be hard and sometimes the battles of far flung wars get fought a lot closer to home.
Many thanks to Devon Robbins for letting me fight this one on his pages.
As always, comments, opinions, random thoughts and recipes for chilli relish are most welcome.

Downer Magazine - Nebraska