Saturday, January 30, 2010

BTAP #59: Angel Of Mercy By David Price

There's got to be a better way. I was never big on church or religion. I'm not looking for any reward for a life well lived. Doubt I'd even qualify. I'm content to just lie down and take the long sleep. Sure ain't looking for the white light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to go out standing on my own two feet, not hooked to a bunch of tubes and monitors.Ever wonder what it might be like to rid the world of one worthless piece of trash? In David Price's "Angel of Mercy," a man decides to do just that.

Next week: Nik Morton's "HBT"

Soon: "Sisters Obscene" from Frederick Zackel

Also, please note that our deadline for the print anthology is coming to a close this Sunday at midnight.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Five Beatles Songs I'm Not Sick Of

In 1986, with the re-release of "Twist and Shout" from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and a year later with George Harrison's Cloud Nine album, I became a die-hard Beatles fan for the next decade. But, as my mother's Uncle Charlie use to say, "Too much of anything, good for nothing." I've grown deathly tired of the more popular songs but here are several tracks I still enjoy.

"I'm So Tired," The White Album. Favorite line: And curse Sir Walter Raleigh / He was such a stupid get.

"Two Of Us," Let It Be (a fan vid). Best line: You and I have memories / Longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

"She Came In Through The Bathroom Window," Abbey Road. Joe Cocker's version is probably more famous but this version has plenty of bite.

"Glass Onion," White Album. The Walrus was Paul!

"Real Love," Anthology Vol. 2. You can get back to where you once belonged. Terrific song and video from 1996.

What's your favorite Fab Four song? And speaking of Cloud Nine, here's another terrific tune from that album.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

When One Thing Leads To Another

I was about to watch another episode of Bat Masterson on Hulu when The Lone Ranger caught my eye instead. I've never watched the old show and decided I was long overdue. "Enter The Lone Ranger." It reminded me that the first time my generation saw Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels was in this 1970’s commercial for Aqua Velva -- I still crack up when he jumps on his horse. There’s also this ad with Silverheels on his own for Chevy Blazer. I was always a Johnny Carson fan, so I had to look up this clip when Jay Silverheels appeared on the show.

Sadly, when plans for the (horrendous) 80s film version of the Lone Ranger were in the works, the owner of the character obtained a court order preventing Clayton Moore from wearing the costume and famous black mask. Here's Moore wearing sunglasses while receiving a star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

BTAP #58: Waking Up From The Big Sleep By Paul Newman

She was tall, wrapping her assets against the rain in a tan overcoat. The coat hung strategically snug in just the right places against shapely curves. Wet strands of obsidian hair peeked out from under a scarf. Her face was pale and expensive like a china doll, with cheekbones high and sharp enough to shave with. Rain ran off her steaming coat in rivulets, puddling on the bare floorboards. A cloud of perfume surrounded her, demanding too much attention.

Read more of Mr. Newman's Waking Up From The Big Sleep.

Next week: David Price has an "Angel of Mercy."

Coming soon: The return of Anonymous-9 with "The Master Bedroom."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Forgotten Music

"Do you like this stuff?" She said.

"Yes. A lot, actually."


"Lars Gullin. A sax player, one of Swedwn's best Jazz musicians ever. He died much too young." --An exchange between Jazz loving Lindman and Linda Wallander from Henning Mankell's BEFORE THE FROST

For more Forgotten Music visit Pattinase.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Russel D posted this vid, last week, on Do Some Damage and it's been stuck in my cranium every since. I'm passing it on to you...

Del Shannon on Letterman | Hats Off To Larry | Keep Searching | Walk Away | Del Shannon Entertainment Tonight Report 1990 | and MTV News Report

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B. Parker

Bill Crider just floored me with the news of Robert B. Parker's death. My thoughts are a bit scattered.

I went from The Hardy Boys to Spenser and since 1984 have been a loyal fan. Each February or March I would look for the newest tale of Boston's #1 private investigator and first class cook. When I went to meet with a college advisor he asked me what I wanted to be and I said a detective. I was inspired to take up writing late in life because I knew Parker had. Spenser’s secure, time tested relationship with Susan inspired me to find my own charmer. My interest in Spenser began to wane, slightly, a few years ago but was renewed with Parker’s new creation, Jesse Stone. Plus his western novels featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch proved his writing chops were still in full force.

I’m scanning the news and according to early reports, Mr. Parker died peacefully at his desk. I certainly hope so. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be missed. RIP.

I’m going to have a beer now. I know Spenser would.


Sarah Weinman blog: Robert B. Parker is Dead | Another Spenser novel is due in November | WSJ | The Washington Post | ABC News | USA Today | The Rap Sheet: On the Passing of Parker | CS Monitor | The Boston Herald

Two Sentence Tuesday

This week's TwoFer is the 'blows to the head' edition. My two in progress:

Grabbing the barrel of the Colt, Cash smashed the butt into his prisoner’s head. Shorty let out a shriek, his body lurched as he reached for his face with bound hands.

This rough draft has the working title Cash Laramie: Showdown At Lark's Pass. The current Laramie story can be found in A FISTFUL OF LEGENDS.


A co-worker was reading Henning Mankel's BEFORE THE FROST and I asked to borrow it when he finished. It's the first in the series billed as a Kurt and Linda Wallander Novel. Two lines:

The blow to her face came with the force of a charging predator. She was plunged into a deep and bottomless darkness.

For more Two Sentence Tuesday, here's the Women Of Mystery.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Legends At Amazon

I.J. Parnham reports that A FISTFUL OF LEGENDS is now available at the mighty My pulpy tale, "Cash Laramie and the Masked Devil," is included in this anthology.

Legends review | Cash Laramie review

Saturday, January 16, 2010

BTAP #57: The Killing On Sutter Street by Paul S. Powers

I’m not sure I will be able to top this in terms of personal satisfaction as an editor. I mean I thought I had reached the creme de la creme last year by having James Reasoner and Robert J. Randisi (two writing heroes of mine) graciously submit stories to BTAP. But now... damn. I have the honor of publishing the late Paul S. Powers, one of the golden era pulp writers.

Here’s how it happened.

I was at my day job when Mr. Powers came to mind. I mean, of course, I go to his granddaughter, Laurie’s terrific website almost daily but I also visit about a hundred other blogs a week. What I mean to say is I hadn’t been thinking of asking for an old story, so when the thought occurred to me it was almost like he tapped me on the shoulder saying, “Hey, ask Laurie.” Seem odd to you? I’m not sure how else to explain it. I was a little apprehensive about mentioning this to Laurie but she said:

“I do think that this was all guided - I've felt that way since I found out he was a pulp writer. The serendipitous things that happened cannot be explained. So no it's not weird. I'm sure he would be very happy about all of this - thrilled, as a matter of fact. Probably standing on his head right now.”
Laurie surprised me by saying she had several unpublished works. She still had to read through them and get back to me. And when she did. Whew! One is a fictional account of the death of Ambrose Bierce which is just an extraordinary piece of writing that will be featured in our upcoming print anthology and the other makes its debut today as our Weekly Punch. Has a golden era pulp writer ever returned after a sixty year absence? I’m not sure. Regardless, thank you Laurie. Thank you Paul. I’m on top of the world.

So without further ado, here’s Paul S. Powers with “The Killing on Sutter Street.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Friday Forgotten Book Rerun

I have missed participating in Patti's FFBs, so I thought I would cheat a little by rerunning an old post. From 9/19/08:

I was at a flea market in Opelousas, Louisiana when I spotted The Crime of Colin Wise by Michael Underwood (pseudonym of John Michael Evelyn, 1916-1992). This 1964 hardcover was in good shape and, priced at $2, it was a steal.

This great little crime thriller follows a television repairman, Wise, who steals and forges a check of the affluent Geoffrey Goodwin. He then invites Goodwin to his house under the false pretense of selling the rich man one of his paintings. Wise murders him by strangulation, carefully dissecting the body in his bathtub and disposing the pieces in various spots around the countryside. Colin Wise is a meticulous self-controlled killer who believes he has committed the perfect crime, but Goodwin left the directions to Colin’s house in the car glove compartment on the night of the crime. Enter, Inspector Manton who finds this evidence and uses it to prove Colin was the last person to see Goodwin alive.

I was expecting this story to take the predictable path of cat and mouse between Inspector Manton and Colin Wise leading up to an inevitable conclusion. Instead, Wise is put behind bars early on and the story becomes a courtroom drama. The police build a case on circumstantial evidence, which results in a hung jury. Just when the plot seems to be drawing to an end, a twelve-year-old boy walking his dog makes a gruesome discovery. One more twist awaits before The Crime of Colin Wise concludes.

This was an enjoyable find, and based on this work alone, I would recommend it or any other Michael Underwood books you might happen to come across.

Click here for more of Friday’s Forgotten Books courtesy of Patti Abbott...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rikki Tikki Tavi

I spent part of my day off indulging in another childhood memory, watching the cartoon version of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" from the mid 1970's. At the time, I remember being scared for the little mongoose and the family he was protecting from a pair of scheming cobras, and that was the extent of my curiosity. But now, as I watch it again through wizened eyes, I'm interested in finding out how a non-fictitious mongoose tangles with a cobra -- I see he does so quite deftly.

Part 2 | Part 3

Sunday, January 10, 2010

David Cranmers Of The World Lead The Way

A craze called "circuit bending" could be about to make a product designer from east London a small fortune. --BBC

Saturday, January 9, 2010

BTAP #56 Twelve-Gauge Ticket To Hell By Thomas Faughnan

When I turned around the guy was less than six feet from me, pointing a twelve-gauge shotgun directly at my midsection. He was thirty-something, neatly barbered and well-dressed but a bit disheveled and a little unsteady on his feet. Probably needed a few drinks to screw up his courage. He didn't look particularly adept with the shotgun but from that range he wouldn't need to be. "Did you enjoy it?" he asked with a twisted smile.
Read more of Thomas Faughnan's story here.

Next Week: A golden era pulp fiction writer returns!

Friday, January 8, 2010

BEAT to a PULP Print Anthology Deadline

We are thrilled to have a line-up of stellar contributors for our upcoming anthology provisionally titled BEAT to a PULP: Round 1. Charles Ardai, James Reasoner, Paul S. Powers, Bill Crider, Sophie Littlefield, Patricia Abbott, Robert J. Randisi and more have gifted us with content. Of course we also have works from emerging talent, some of whom will be debuting in print for the first time alongside the luminous and legendary.

SUBMISSIONS ARE STILL OPEN UNTIL JANUARY 31ST. There are still a handful of slots left. We could use a good pirate yarn or an Indiana Jones style adventure. So polish those shorts up and send them in. And remember, even if your story doesn’t make the anthology, it also has a chance at the BTAP e-zine. Let us hear from you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cash Laramie And The Masked Devil Review

Over at Davy Crockett's Almanack, Evan Lewis has a review of "Cash Laramie and the Masked Devil."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Henry Berry Lowrie

I was at sea for nearly a month last November…on a ship…rocking…constantly. “Rocking” doesn’t really describe it well enough, so feel free to use (courtesy of teetering, wobbling, reeling, staggering, shaking, swaying, wavering, lurching, or weaving. Point being it sucked because it made reading and working on my great American novel damn near impossible. Which meant there was plenty of time for storytelling while enjoying a cigar and a drink. One of my colleagues happens to be of Native American descent (our third man disputed this to me later, claiming, “Hairiest Indian I’ve ever seen.” I may have doubted it myself—not for the same reason as the very un-pc comment—but I was in Lumberton, North Carolina a few years ago where I became acquainted with the Lumbee tribe). But I digress. This colleague had good tales to share. Sitting in a circle in a tiny cabin, heads low, turning shades of blue and green, we listened to stories you can't find in books. "All I tell you is oral tradition," he said taking a swig of his drink, adding, "Let the ghosts dance." I took a puff on my cheap Black and Mild cigar sat back and smiled within: this person is a character. He repeatedly used the term “American Indian” which I asked him about, "Hell, you're a native American Dave." He continued on, speaking of ceremonial customs, peace pipes, visions, etc., with spirited delivery and passion for his heritage but whenever he mentioned the name Henry Berry Lowrie, his voice rose up even more. And so did my curiosity. Being unfamiliar with the legend of Lowrie, I listened closely jotting down notes here and there.

When we finally returned to land and once again had access to the Internet (the seagulls have a nice bandwidth free zone out there), I typed in Lowrie and jumped back. The guy on the boat has a strong resemblance to the 19th century outlaw. And the tales? It's unfair, I know, to build up all this stuff I’ve heard and yet not deliver the stories, but many of the yarns spun that seasick evening are available online. Plus, I'm not sure what will become of my hand-scratched notes. Perhaps my fictional Cash Laramie will meet up with the Lumbee legend. Until then here's the Wikipedia article with said photo. And for those of you who like old newspaper articles, here's the October 7, 1871 NY Times with quite a fascinating look at his gang and their "misdeeds."

Additional links:

Legends of North Carolina

The Museum of the Native American Resource Center

Henry Berry Lowrie - Lumbee Regional Development Association, Inc

Friday, January 1, 2010

BTAP #55: Missed Flight by Steve Weddle

We open year two of BEAT to a PULP with a new image for the home page and a riveting, beautifully orchestrated story by Steve Weddle. For those not familiar with Steve, he blogs on the enormously popular DO SOME DAMAGE every Monday along with some other mugs that are well known to BTAP readers. If this is the first you'll be reading his work (it was for me), then I’m very proud we are the ones bringing you MISSED FLIGHT. Enjoy what superb writing is all about.

Next week: You'll be looking down the barrel of Thomas Faughnan’s "Twelve-Gauge Ticket To Hell"

Coming soon: Nik Morton has three letters for you, "HBT"