Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The King of Cool Westerns

Steve McQueen (1930-1980) built a legendary acting career playing anti-establishment characters in memorable films like Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Getaway. In 1974 he finally passed a personal goal by becoming the highest paid Hollywood star (and top billing against friendly rival Paul Newman) with his turn in The Towering Inferno. But, at the beginning, The King of Cool rose to fame playing Western heroes like Josh Randall on television and his breakout movie role as Vin in The Magnificent Seven.

Please click over to Criminal Element to continue to read my article on seven spur-wearing parts that span his notable acting career. From his early beginnings as the bounty hunter in Robert Culp's Trackdown to his final Western role in Tom Horn.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time: The Empty Badge by Wayne D. Dundee

I had the privilege of publishing Trails of the Wild: Seven Tales of the Old West awhile back, though, now, the praised collection has run its course and I have removed it from the published status. In doing so, it left a bit of an issue with the book containing the Cash Laramie novella, The Empty Badge, by Wayne D. Dundee, which is an integral part of the ongoing Western series. So, I've re-released The Empty Badge on its own. And for fans of the Outlaw Marshal, I will be offering the e-book free beginning today and for four days afterward.

Plot: It's been weeks since Cash Laramie, the famed "Outlaw Marshal," has been heard from. Meanwhile, at the Federal Marshal headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyoming, some disturbing reports are starting to filter in about the notorious Driscoll Gang rapidly hitting a series of banks, allegedly with the aid of a badge-wearing accomplice claiming to be Laramie. Can it be true? Can it be that the lawman with the hair-trigger temper and the mile-wide independent streak has finally gone completely rogue?

The truth is seldom easy to find. And on the lonely, twisting trails of northwestern Wyoming in the 1880s, it was often lost forever. But every now and then, when those dusty trails converged in certain unexpected ways, answers were revealed and justice was delivered in a blaze of gunfire.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel)

Doctor Who has seen many different faces over the years, and I’m not talking about his own new countenance after regenerating. I’m talking about the numerous companions and individuals who’ve helped the good Doctor through thick and thin.

It could be debated what constitutes a true companion—especially when considering those who only lasted for one tour of duty, or who had frequently helped the Doctor but for one reason or another weren’t given the esteemed title (like Rose Tyler’s mother, Jackie), or the ones that never even stepped foot into the TARDIS. With all these variables to process, it would take the sonic screwdriver a couple hundred years to calculate an accurate companion tally.

In any event, while most of these helpful souls can be divide among the best (Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, Amy Pond) and the worst (Adric, K-9, Mel), there’s also the contingent that can be placed in the category of unsung heroes—those who don’t garner the attention of the favorites but have delivered the goods when the chips were down for the Gallifreyan native—or perhaps, as in one case, good riddance.

*The rest of my article on Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel) can be found here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The July Rebellion by Kate Lincoln

A real pleasure to have Kate Lincoln at BEAT to a PULP this week with The July Rebellion, which appears in Family Matters, a Murder New York Style mystery anthology from the New York/Tri-State chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Another short story excerpt from Family Matters, "Eldercare," can be found at Criminal Element. I've read about half the collection, so far, and am enjoying it immensely. Well worth the time when you get a chance.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ray Bradbury Writes Noir

Have you ever read a Ray Bradbury noir? Honestly, I didn't know he had written any until very recently and then enjoyed the hell out of the one I discovered. I'm at Criminal Element talking Ray Bradbury Writes Noir: Death Is a Lonely Business.

Sunday, September 7, 2014