Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Bottom Of Every Bottle by Robert J. Randisi

Beginning a Robert J. Randisi novel is like being shot out of a canon with rockets strapped to your ass for good measure.
Then he heard a metallic “snick” and he moved fast. He overturned the kitchen table and ducked behind it as muzzle flashes lit the room and two bullets punched through the table. In the flashes he saw the man standing in the kitchen doorway. He fired his own weapon twice and was rewarded with a grunt and the sound of a body striking the floor.
This clip from his latest offering, THE BOTTOM OF EVERY BOTTLE, is on page 2!

The “he” in the above passage is officer Jake Gilmartin, and he’s being attacked in his own home by a fellow cop. Jake is working on three cases simultaneously and assumes the attack has something to do with one of them. On the run from dirty cops trying to pin him down, he turns to his son Rob, an Army gunnery sergeant, for help. Problem is his son hates him for abandoning the family years ago.

As it turns out, Rob doesn’t have much choice though because he’s already being staked out by the bad guys who are gunning for Jake. He takes a week’s leave to rendezvous with his old man and help. Rob learns he isn’t the only one who can’t stand his father. Most of the cops he runs across openly despise his old man, and the ones who don’t seem to wind up dead. Angela, a NY cabbie Jake has befriended, comes along to lend a hand.

This book has Gatling gun action, sharp dialogue and the occasional curve ball thrown in. Fans of Randisi will find every bit of the masterful storytelling in EVERY BOTTLE they’ve come to expect from the award winning author. For any newbies, this is a perfect place to jump on the speeding locomotive. Sit back and enjoy. Highly recommended.

BTAP #63: Big And Bright And Colorful, Like The California Dream by Fred Zackel

Ross Macdonald wrote, "Fred Zackel's first novel reminds me of the young Dashiell Hammett's work, not because it is an imitation, but because it is not. It is a powerful and original book made from the lives and language of the people who live in San Francisco today."

Now that’s impressive! The heir apparent to Chandler and Hammett passed the torch to a young writer, and a friendship between the two developed (this was highlighted in a wonderful article from January Magazine). Zackel's novel that Macdonald spoke of, Cocaine and Blue Eyes, went on to be a bestseller and later made into a TV film.

We were looking forward to a new short story from this talented author but due to unforeseen circumstances we won’t be able to feature it. However, Mr. Zackel has graciously offered us an excerpt from his 1980 novel, CINDERELLA AFTER MIDNIGHT, which has just been re-released via Kindle after being out of print for thirty years. And you, faithful BTAP readers, get a free preview with "Big and bright and colorful, like the California Dream."

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Town Monday: Out To Sea Edition

I recently spent some time crossing the Atlantic ocean which Wikipedia describes as "the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about 106.4 million square kilometres (41.1 million square miles), it covers approximately one-fifth of the Earth's surface and about one-quarter of its water surface area. The first part of its name refers to the Atlas of Greek mythology, making the Atlantic the 'Sea of Atlas'."

After weeks, of tossing n' turning, it was most welcomed when the water became like glass.

I considered asking the captain to head for the pot of gold.

Besides the dolphins, the flying fish put on the greatest show. This poor guy leaped a little to high and landed on deck where he died. Here is a YouTube video clip of these amazing creatures.

Ah, sweet land and a winged creature saying 'hola.'

After many weeks at sea, welcoming site: land (Strait of Gibraltar). Alas, we floated on by. Put two red eyes in my hoodie flying up behind me and you have a Jawa looking over my shoulder.

A very important sign on any ship. Lackluster food is served three times a day with the highlight being ice cream on Sunday afternoons!

And miles to go before I sleep / And miles to go before I sleep.

For more My Town Mondays, click here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

BTAP #62: Coercion by Mark Boss

Blood oozed through the kid's hair and crept along the floor, channeled by the grout lines between the white ceramic squares. I dug my cell phone out, but when I flipped it open it slipped out of my blood-slick hand and broke on the tile floor. I knew there was a landline in the kitchen, but the kid was bleeding bad so I went to the bathroom for a towel.
Now, no one's gonna force ya, but I'd highly recommend you follow the link to check out the rest of "Coercion" by Mark Boss.

Up next: "Sisters Obscene" by Frederick Zackel

Coming soon: Alec Cizak's "The Gimme"

Going Home

Friday, February 19, 2010

PastPosts * Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing by Lee Server

This was originally posted elsewhere on 06/11/2006. Though I cleaned up some parts, it still reads a bit racy. So sensitive eyes, beware.

"It is said men literally had to support themselves against buildings when [Ava Gardner] walked by," writes Lee Server in Love is Nothing. After reading this compelling biography, it’s clear that the men in Ava Gardner’s life were obsessed with her, and it’s easy to understand why. Her talent, charm and feminine beauty combined with her 'I don't give a damn' attitude captivated them.

Ava’s brief marriage to Frank Sinatra and their subsequent relationship is a highlight of the book. Ol’ Blue Eyes was so taken with her he was brought to the edge of insanity. When he was told of her death, he went to his room and sat there alone, all night and well into the next day. He could barely raise his voice above a whisper when he spoke of her. Ava haunted him to the end of his life.

Examples of Ava's sex appeal and her affect on men spice up the book. Server describes how she’d wander around the house she shared with first husband, Mickey Rooney, wearing only her panties and declare, "Let's f---." In filming a love scene with Ava, Burt Lancaster developed a "pitched tent" and had to take a breather much to the amusement of the crew and Ava herself. Server also relates how some men went to great lengths to have a piece of her, like Ernest Hemingway who saved one of Ava’s kidney stones as a memento.

The actress’s real-life adventures rivaled anything in her films. She knew with age she’d lose the appeal that drove men wild, so she lived it up taking no prisoners while she was able. Ava could drink most men under the table and curse with the best of them. Bhawani Junction costar Francis Matthews claimed, "She could go all night, y'know. She was a wild country girl and liked to let her hair down and fling off her shoes and have a good time." There was no reaching this woman or holding her down. By the age of 35, she had already collected three ex-husbands.

Lee Server knows his subject and obviously admires her. In the book's intro, he refers to her as "a carnal, dangerous angel in the chiaroscuro dreamscape of film noir." Server fondly brings Gardner to life as a warm, refreshingly unpretentious star whose appetites eventually did her in—though, she seemed to have had one helluva time getting there.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two Sentence Tuesday

From one of my favorite novels, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES:

To all the world he was the man of violence, half animal and half demon; but to her he always remained the little wilful boy of her own girlhood, the child who had clung to her hand. Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.


My two are from "Joe's Girl" which I plan to post on EOPW soon.

I looked around at the cramped, unkempt cemetery—the tall grass, the tipped over headstones—and it struck me as appropriate. It was cluttered, like the departed lives and the messes they left behind.

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

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Portrait Of A Writer As A Young Man

Or at least a slightly younger man. This painting is based on a photo taken in Cameroon in December 2004. Little d and I met the lovely artist, Denise, in Belize about a year later and we were immediately taken with her work. Her art can be found on her website, Studio2D.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Short Story Collections From The Masters

First up is Ed Gorman's THE END OF IT ALL and Other Stories.

From Ramble House:

23 short stories from the pen of the master of horror and suspense, Ed Gorman. They represent his favorite chillers from a career spanning decades. It took 426 pages to hold them all there's not a word to spare.

And then there's Robert J. Randisi's THE GUILT EDGE.

RJR says:

It's now available from Perfect Crime Books or Henry Po stories, Truxton Lewis stories, Val O'Farrell stories and a few more, plus an intro from Ed Gorman. Perfect Crime Books is a small press just starting out, and I'm happy to support them with a collection, a novel (soon) and pretty soon a two volume PWA collection of Shamus winning stories from PWA.

I've already ordered my copies. What are you waiting for? And before your books arrive, here is Shut Up And Kill Me by Robert J. Randisi at BEAT to a PULP.

BTAP #60: HBT By Nik Morton

Nik Morton has delivered some strong and very diverse content to BTAP. His “Spend It Now, Pay Later” warned of the futuristic dangers of making deals you're not prepared to deliver on. In the literary “I Celebrate Myself," your skin creeps as you crawl through the trash with our hero in search of a crying voice.

It turns out, third time's a charm for Nik and BTAP. This gifted writer pulls off a shocking little hat-trick with the entertaining HBT.

Next: Anonymous-9 is back and in "The Master Bedroom"

Coming soon: Mark Robinson brings "Porn Again Kristen"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hey, I'm Mentioned!

A nice review of A FISTFUL OF LEGENDS here.

Hat tip: I.J. Parnham. And thanks to Matt Pizzolato.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

PastPosts #1: Please Don't FWD Me

I began blogging elewhere in the cyber heavens and thought it might be fun to post some of these earlier ramblings. I sound upset here but I'm really not. I was going to end every post with "is it just me?"

And to my friends and fam that still send this type of e-mail--why keep 'em coming.

Posted sometime in 2006...

Please Don't FWD Me

I despise forwards sent to my hotmail. There are two kinds that I normally receive. The first is a new form of the old chain letter. You know the kind where someone sends you a sad story, or perhaps even inspirational, about somebody's cat or child. The letter instructs you that you have 24 hours to send it on to 20 other people or else you will meet with a sudden demise, or at best a horrible disfiguring accident. Sometimes the consequences are more vague while you are informed you'll encounter several years of misfortune. Why would a friend send me such a grim fate? Do I need this type of friend who is automatically guaranteeing my immediate demise if I don't comply, especially knowing I don't have enough friends to comply. The second forward I loathe is the "funny" forward, which are never as funny as the sender imagines. Typically it's either some stale joke or a cartoon of dancing hamsters.

People who send forwards don't send just one. They send more than ten at a time, enough to fill a FedEx delivery van if all of them were printed on paper. On top of that, they do it every single day. Even a speed reader would need a month to read through all the chain letters and jokes crammed in my inbox. No one would waste the money to send this junk if it cost them the price of a stamp.

So please think twice before you send me a forward. If it is funny, make sure it rivals the Marx brothers in their finest hour. And please don't forward something that will shorten my life expectancy or impair my sterility.

Is it just me?

Monday, February 1, 2010

BTAP Print Anthology Update: Submissions Closed

Submissions for the BEAT to a PULP print anthology are now closed.

Anonymous-9, Charles Ardai, Sophie Littlefield, Bill Crider, Matthew Quinn Martin, Jake Hinkson, Nik Morton, Robert J. Randisi, Kieran Shea, Chap O’Keefe, Stephen D. Rogers, Patricia Abbott, Frank Bill, James Reasoner, Mike Sheeter, Garnett Elliot, Nolan Knight, Paul S. Powers, Chris F. Holm, Hilary Davidson, Ian Parnham, Scott D. Parker, Jedidiah Ayers, Cullen Gallagher, Andy Henion and Glenn Gray are now part of what is shaping up to be one of the top collections ever put together.

If you haven’t heard from us yet and you submitted a story, we will be reviewing it shortly. Many thanks for your hard work and interest.

Moving forward!

More news will be forthcoming including a special post regarding the very fine artist we have doing the cover art.