Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Nowhere To Go by Iain Rowan

During the month of September the talented short story writer Iain Rowan has reduced the price of his excellent collection of eleven crime stories entitled Nowhere To Go to just 86p.

 About Nowhere To Go:

An ordinary man who finds himself caught up in a bank raid gone wrong. A murder caught on security camera where the victim doesn't exist. A man with just months to live, who is already living in hell but decides to take on the devil. A mob accountant babysitting a hired killer on a trip to the countryside, and a burglar on an easy job who finds it might not be so easy after all. A con-artist conned, and what a man will do when in the grip of an obsession more important to him than his own life.
Eleven crime stories first published in Alfred Hitchcock's, Ellery Queen's, and elsewhere by award-winning writer Iain Rowan. Eleven stories of what people do when there is nowhere left to go.

Iain's short fiction has been reprinted in Year's Best anthologies, won a Derringer Award, and been the basis for a novel shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger award.

Here's what folk say about Nowhere To Go:

"I loved the nuances and true heartfelt emotion that Iain filled his stories with, and Iain quickly became a must read author for me--everything I read of Iain's had this tragic, and sometimes, horrific beauty filling it, and was guaranteed to be something special."
(Dave Zeltserman, author of Outsourced, and Washington Post best books of year Small Crimes and Pariah)

"A short story writer of the highest calibre."
(Allan Guthrie, author of Top Ten Kindle Bestseller Bye Bye Baby, winner of Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year)

"Iain Rowan's stories never fail to surprise and delight, and just when you think you know what will happen next, you realize how much you've been caught unaware."
(Sarah Weinman, writer, critic, reviewer, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and News Editor for Publishers Marketplace)

"Iain Rowan is both a meticulous and a passionate writer, and these stories showcase his ample talent wonderfully well. You owe it to yourself to discover Rowan's fiction if you haven't already had the pleasure."
(Jeff Vandermeer, author of Finch, Shriek:An Afterword, City of Saints and Madmen; two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award)

You can download Nowhere To Go HERE

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Brit Grit (kindle edition) by Paul D.Brazill

Spinetingler award nominee Paul D. Brazill is a prolific writer and blogger. His short stories have appeared in a wide variety of print and online publications including the prestigious Mammoth Book of Best British Crime where he keeps company with such names as Ian Rankin, Nigel Bird, Ray Banks, Nick Quantrill, Sheila Quigley and Allan Guthrie.

Brit Grit is a collection of his short stories from the various publications. This download represents great value giving you nine hard hitting stories for under a pound. Paul’s trademark is perhaps the humour he manages to inject into his stories. Paul peppers his tales with hilarious metaphors and jokes:

Jim was as much use as a condom in a convent.

Lines like this come thick and fast in his stories. The dialogue too is dripping with good humour:

“You sound like a Shetland Pony.”
“A little hoarse.”
“Never mind.”

The characters that populate his worlds vary greatly from booze sozzled private eyes (In his Drunk on The Moon series), criminal transvestites and even a PI who is also werewolf. The antics of his many and varied characters who all have varying degrees of incompetence in the dark deeds they perform within his stories. Aside from the humour and the colourful characters Paul weaves some fantastic descriptive writing into the mix. Like a good steak dinner this collection of stories leaves you full to bursting and like a good meal you know you will never tire of it.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Holy Chrome Bocce Balls on Fire by Giovanni Gelati

This is a story about balls. Not any old balls you understand. Big balls, special balls. These balls are so shiny you could use them to signal SOS from a desert island. These balls my friends are chrome balls. I see that perplexed expression on your face. I see the frown. I see the lack of understanding. Well let me be your Mr Miyagi. Let me be your Yoda. Perhaps I can be your guru in enlightening you as to what manner of man such a fine pair of balls belong to.

 There is only one man who could wield such a fine pair of perfect spheres. Who you cry, who can it possibly be? You are guessing now I can hear you. What dude or hero you are musing could possibly have such pristine artefacts? Is it perhaps Indiana Jones?  Is it Batman? Is it Captain America? Doc Savage? Perhaps it is Roland Deschain? Maybe just maybe it is Iron Man or the Cape.  A hint you say? You want a hint? Well okay I’ll give you a hint. If I tell you they are Bocce balls is the mist clearing? Yes, I see that you are nodding.  That’s right it’s the man for the moment. He is stepping up even now drawing himself up to full height. His shadow cast long and large across the beach. Let the unjust quiver in fear. Let the cheats and low lives run from his long arm. That’s right folks the man now stepping into the richly deserved spotlight is none other than Giovanni “G-Man” Gelati. Marvel at his chrome balls.

Holy Chrome Balls On Fire! Is the next instalment in Gelati’s series of stories set in the intensely competitive sporting world of Bocce tournaments. Expect puns and humour but most of all expect fun. Will the Russians win? How about the Chinese? Will our boys from USA in their tournament uniform of Hawaiian shirts do it for the USA? What would you do if your balls caught fire?  Find out all this and more in the latest thrilling instalment of the chrome balls series.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Darke Affair (Drunk On The Moon) by Allan Leverone

I had the cold sweats and like any addict that has gone without a fix cold turkey had a grip of me. With feverish hands I pressed the buy now with 1-click button and all was right with the world. I had my instalment of Drunk On The Moon to read.

Who is this silent watcher in town? Why is Roman being tailed? Who is driving the mysterious black car? Will Ton Ton Philippe get the revenge he seeks? Roman must battle mortal enemies when there is no full moon which will stretch his resources to the very limit.

Volume 3 of Paul D Brazill's Drunk On The Moon is written by Allan Leverone. Snappy dialogue and witty banter are the order of the day. Leverone uses great imagery that really made me chuckle. For example:
My business had been drier than a 90 year old nun in the Sahara.

The story is liberally sprinkled with gems like this. Great action and sparkling wit has become a trademark of this series and Allan Leverone does not disappoint. Funny, interesting and a great read.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Convictions by Julie Morrigan

When 12-year-old Tina Snowdon and her little Sister Annie accept a lift from a stranger it proves to be a decision that alters the entire course of her life. She doesn’t realise that only one of them will be going home that night.

Convictions is a story about what happens when people take an idea too far. When a belief system takes over rational thought and logic. If I were to put Convictions into a genre I would call it a police procedural. However, I would hate myself for pigeon holing it. Frankly the book is too good to just throw into a category willy-nilly. Convictions is a thrilling read from start to finish.  It’s a tale of the bravery of one girl and the dogged determination of those that want to see justice done. The book is one that can be read on many levels. Julie Morrigan doesn’t over do it. It’s a believable novel at all times. There is no need for suspensions of disbelief the story carries you along and you are powerless to resist its charms as Julie’s narrative guides you. It’s a story of how bitterness can destroy lives. A story of how predators target and exploit the vulnerable.

Convictions is a riveting read and the most enjoyable novel I have read all year. There are some writers who you know will go on to be hugely successful. They have that little something in their writing that you know will have you coming back again and again. That indefinable spark of the storyteller that all writers aspire to attain. Some have it naturally Julie Morrigan is just such a writer.

Download Convictions HERE

Julie's blog can be found HERE

Paul D. Brazill's Brit Grit - A Crime Fiction Collection

“America may well be the official home of pulp and noir but the United Kingdom, long perceived as the land of Dame Agatha cozies and stuck up, Latin quoting police detectives, also has a grubby underbelly which has produced plenty of gritty crime writing. And there is a new wave of Brit Grit writers leaving their bloodstained footprints across this septic Isle too.”

So writes Spinetingler Award nominee Paul D.Brazill at the beginning of this eagerly awaited collection of his short stories released by Trestle Press. This collection has been much anticipated by those involved in the genre and fans of the gritty, witty writer. A full review of will follow but this is a Clarion call for you download this excellent collection. Paul is already romping up the kindle chars faster than Usain Bolt on speed so please help this ambassador for British crime fiction achieve the success he richly deserves.

You can download Brit Grit HERE

Posh Girl by Jim Higo

Talented Hull poet and comedian Jim Higo has just had some publishing success. His excellent poem Posh Girl has been published in the fifteenth edition of the excellent magazline The Delinquent.

With 132 pages the magazine represents great value and frankly is worth buying for Jim's excellent poem alone. Jim Higo's poetry will surprise, shock and make you laugh sometimes all at the same time.
Jim has a keen political brain and this is often reflected in his poetry. Yet he is not just another bitter poet trying to ram home a political point. His poems come in a variety styles and guises all with one thing in common they make you think

Check out Jim's website HERE
The magazine is available for immediate digital download at only 99p HERE

You can check out The Delinquent's home page HERE
Details for people in the UK to buy a hard copy are available on the magazines home page.

Friday, 12 August 2011

How I Met Your Mother by Mark Cooper

Horror writer Andrew Hargreaves is driving to school to pick up the kids. He is rushed and late. His wife, Leah, is just arriving home but as she is hustled into the house by a stranger with a gun in her back she knows that she will have to fight for her very life. What does this mysterious stranger want? How will she stop Andrew from blundering into this dangerous situation with the kids in tow? How will she overpower the stranger? Will she survive?

These questions and more will be answered in this short story. Mark Cooper’s narrative is fast paced which is just what you want from a story with plenty of action. A good old fashioned enjoyable spy thriller which fits in plenty of action within a relatively short story. A tale you can read in a single sitting.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Weighing Fate by Chantal Boudreau

How would you live your life if you thought that every good event that happened was measured out by a bad event? This is the intriguing question asked by Chantal Boudreau in Weighing Fate. Karma would become a curse surely sucking all the joy from life and leaving only dread and unhappiness. You’d actually come to enjoy the bad events knowing that perhaps shortly things would turn upwards.

We see the story’s heroine Adella trying to regulate and balance all aspects of her life. When a colleague makes what seems to be a harmless gesture of kindness it could have disastrous consequences for Adella.

An interesting short story and a story you will be able to finish in a single sitting. I enjoyed this tale, it was a nice easy read. Boudreau left me thinking about fate and karma for a while after I finished the story. Some fiction is more than the sum of its parts and has a deeper effect on you than you might expect. This is one of those stories. An enjoyable and though provoking read.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Impeccant (Reprisal Volume 2) by Sam Lang

Reprisal Volume 2 Impeccant starts on the morning that the town is due to be evacuated. Everyone is in a playful mood ready for a short exciting adventure/vacation. Eddie as a reporter is naturally excited for the coming of the days events and eagerly leaves his apartment camera in hand.

This volume starts of playfully with a funny scene in the cafe which has our hero blushing like a beacon. However, as the bad weather draws in the sense of foreboding returns. The carnival atmosphere evaporates as quickly as water on a hot sidewalk. Yet again the author carefully sews into the text the idea that Reprisal has more than it's share of secrets. Sam Lang hints at events to come with some considerable skill. Eddie's musings guide the reader expertly through the narrative. Eddie remains unsettled and troubled by his vision like dream from the night before.

Eddie's research into the history of the town brings some surprising discoveries and he is left wondering about the dark events in his own past. The author has me well and truly hooked now! I await the next instalment with excitement.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Reprisal: Making Plans, Making Memories by Sam Lang

A small town Police Chief holds a press conference for the benefit of some reporters. The subject is the town’s evacuation during the impending transit of some dangerous prisoners through the town.

The story is told from the point of view of the town’s cub reporter, Eddie. The character of the Police Chief, Matt Canton, is drawn as a larger than life aged septuagenarian chauvinist with a love of cigars. Although cantankerous and old fashioned it is clear that he loves the town and has its best interests at heart. The Chief describes some of the inmates who will be passing through town and their crimes to the reporters and the reader gets a sense of foreboding about what might come.

The author sets the scene well with this first volume. He hints at secrets the Chief might be keeping. He describes events in Eddie’s childhood which may later turn out to be relevant. Overall it’s a great opener that made me want to read on. I found Reprisal to be well written and the author’s strength seems to be in creating good characters. I’m looking forward to the story developing further. Another great series brought to you by Trestle Press.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Beat On The Brat and other stories by Nigel Bird

Beat On The Brat is the second short story collection released by Nigel Bird on kindle. The author’s first collection Dirty Old Town has been one of my reading highlights of the year. Reading a short story collection by Nigel Bird is like being stuck in an alley with Freddie Krueger, Jason from Friday the 13th and Michael Myers from the Halloween movies all at the same time.  You know you’re going to get hacked to bloody pieces but you’re not sure which direction the pain is coming from. Dark characters inhabit these stories.

Those who have read Dirty Old Town will know that in the worlds Nigel creates the unthinkable happens. The author meddles with your emotions masterfully mixing in the melancholy and toying with your emotions as a cat plays with a mouse.   There are nine stories within this collection. Tales of revenge, deceit and of nasty and violent crimes. However, within most of these stories there is a small kernel of hope. Many of those that meet a sticky end deserve it.  You reap what you sew.  Nigel doesn’t preach he spins tales and treats the reader as an intelligent entity that can decide for themselves what is right, what is wrong and where the shades of grey lie. I raced through this collection as I always do with fiction that I enjoy.  Another impressive collection from the talented Nigel Bird.

Download Beat On The Brat HERE

Download Dirty Old Town HERE

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Cocooned in Darkness by Leona DeRosa Bodie

Claude Pelletier has a bitter row with his wife, A relationship that has soured. Everything he held dear has turned to poison.  He storms off to his sailboat for some peace and quiet and awakens with the cold steel of a pistol pressed to his temple. Pelletier must despatch this would-be assassin and seek revenge on whoever wants him dead.

Cocooned in Darkness is a roller coaster ride of a short story. All action from start to finish and a tale that you can read in a single sitting. The author combines fast action with interesting and atmospheric descriptive writing as Claude battles his enemies, personal demons and all that Mother Nature can throw at him.  A great read that will have me looking out for more work by this author.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Black and Blue by Ian Rankin

Detective Inspector John Rebus once more finds his back against the wall. He juggles four cases in the hope of nailing the infamous serial killer Bible John. As if that's not enough he finds himself subject to an internal inquiry headed by a man he has just accused of being of taking back handers from Glasgow’s Mr Big – Uncle Joe.  Rebus must fight for his job and his very life. Add in bent cops, environmental protestors, gangsters and you have Rankin on his finest form. Rebus's obsessive terrier like tenacity is really highlighted in Black and Blue as are all of his flaws as he battles not only his obsession but also his addictions.

I know it’s a cliché but once I started reading this book I almost could not put it down. I’ve read a few of Rankin’s novels now and Rebus only becomes a more compelling character the more I read of him. Rankin has that rare skill of blending multiple plot lines without ever confusing the reader. A thoroughly enjoyable read that has left me clamouring for the next Rebus novel.