Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Might Have: Poems by Gerald So

I've said before I have a difficult time critiquing poetry. But I know what I like and I like Gerald So's poetry a whole helluva lot. I downloaded We Might Have: Poems and am looking forward to reading one a day. I'll leave a review on Amazon when I'm done.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Garnett Elliott on ADVENTURES

Edward Grainger (AKA pulp writer/editor extraordinaire David Cranmer) serves up some bite-sized wild west excitement in ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES. Many of the stories are reminiscent of old Gunsmoke and Have Gun, Will Travel radio serials, which will satisfy traditional western enthusiasts, but other pieces (notably "Kid Eddie", "Miles to Go," and "The Outlaw Marshal") have a darker bent, for those who like a little grit along with their flashing gun-play.

Written with the pulp values of brevity and action, the stories go down smooth. Lest you think it's all blood and thunder, though, Grainger sets a couple stereotypes on their heads, and even explores so-called "contemporary" issues (child abuse, racism, sociopathy) through the dusty lens of an older time.

Good for readers wanting fast-paced westerns with a twinge of nostalgia, and good for writers interested in the mechanics of vintage pulp, ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES delivers both barrels of literary buckshot! --From Garnett Elliott's Amazon review.

Thank you to all who made ADVENTURES the eleventh best in Westerns based on Amazon customer reviews.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Monday Interview (and a book giveaway contest)

Larry Sweazy has an interview with me (now stop groaning!) and he will be giving away five copies of my ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES. Check all the excitement here.

Ngaio Marsh Award Longlist

Janet Rudolph's Mystery Fanfare.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff

My all-time favorite old school comedy act is the Marx Brothers with a close second being Buster Keaton. But it seems Bud Abbott and Lou Costello somehow escaped my attention, except when I was a kid at grandma's laughing at the classic Who's On First, and then later at the video store where I worked (David’s college years, folks) enjoying Hold That Ghost and Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. That’s about it, even though I’ve had Volume 3 of their movie collection sitting on the shelf for quite awhile. I finally decided it was time to catch up on this famed duo.

The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Volume 3 contains eight movies from 1948-1953. I started with Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff. The boys work at a hotel where a guest is murdered and suspicion falls on Costello the bellhop and for good reason—bodies begin piling up in his room at a side-splitting alarming rate. Abbott plays the hotel detective who is only a tad smarter than his friend the bellhop and tries to clear him regardless of the evidence that is stacking up against his innocence. Boris Karloff does well playing it straight as a hypnotizing swami who attempts to convince Costello to off himself. Many other fine supporting characters you’ll immediately recognize come together for a classic Ellery Queen style whodunit.

The funniest scene for me was Abbott and Costello urgently trying to rid themselves of the bodies and at one point they set two stiffs up at a card table for a game of poker. Interestingly, every scene with a corpse was removed prior to distribution in Australia and New Zealand, and Denmark went so far as to ban the film completely.

I can't say I laughed a lot at this film but several scenes like corpse poker brought big chuckles and I’m looking forward to watching the other films in this collection which include Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Mexican Hayride, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Comin’ Round the Mountain, Lost in Alaska, and Abbott and Costello Go to Mars.

Look Who's in Today's Boston Globe!

My buddy Matt Mayo and his better half, Jen.

Friday, June 24, 2011

How Peter Falk Made Lt. Columbo Iconic

Lee Goldberg has a terrific article on Mr. Falk at the WSJ.

Peter Falk

Peter Falk, TV's "Columbo," is dead at 83. One of the greats. R.I.P.

The Robert J. Randisi Book Giveaway Winners

I tossed all the entrants into my fancy $10 fedora and my Charmer drew the names. Jodi MacArthur, Ed Lynskey, and J. Kingston Pierce are the winners in our Robert J. Randisi Book Giveaway. I'll make sure Mr. Randisi receives your names and e-mails so he can ship the books off. Congrats to all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mystery eBook Giveaway -- Westlake and others‏

From Adrienne Harth:

I wanted to let you know about two great offers at, the new social eBookstore that lets readers share notes in the margins of their books, form online book clubs and much more.

We are giving away Donald Westlake's Edgar Award-winning novel, GOD SAVE THE MARK. Free.
Here is the short URL.

Our ongoing free Books-to-Movies collection also has books of interest to mystery fans: free copies of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and LITTLE CAESAR.

All anyone has to do is spend a minute to sign up for an account, download the books, and then download our free eReader software for PC, Mac, Ipad, Win 7, etc.. You can read the book on any device that takes adobe ePub files (Nook, Sony eReader, etc).

We hope you enjoy these free books and please feel free to spread the word by blog or tweet.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Word of Thanks

I want to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles and especially those who took the time to do a review. The support from the writing community has been nothing short of exceptional.

For the past two weeks, Adventures has been on Amazon’s Top 100 westerns and quite often in the top twenty. As I said in a recent post, I’m humbled to be hanging out with McMurtry, L'Amour, and, good lord, Elmore Leonard!

I received an e-mail from a new Cash & Miles fan (that’s another first for me) who asked if there were other stories and where he could find them. Well, the success of this first collection has spurred me on to release the remaining short stories in the months to come. It will probably be the same approach with five previously released adventures with two new ones.

While waiting for that next collection, Cash will be in Crimefactory, Gideon Miles will be in the forthcoming Western Fictioneers eBook, and another tale of the outlaw marshal written with Chuck Tyrell will be at the next Wild West eMonday.

But for now... thank you, folks.

Dead Man's Revenge Dead Man's Revenge (Rancho Diablo) eBook: Colby Jackson: Kindle Store: "Western action explodes as Sam Blaylock fights to save Rancho Diablo. Has a dead man returned to take revenge against Sam, or is there something more human at work? Even the law doesn't seem to be on Sam's side as he takes on enemies that strike in the night.

DEADMAN'S REVENGE is the third volume in the exciting Rancho Diablo series."

The Girl Who Cast a Spell on Her Rivals

NYT: Eva Gabrielsson lived with the Swedish author Stieg Larsson for 32 years.

Hat tip: Criminal Element.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Message from Robert J. Randisi and a Giveaway

A Good Summer
Bob Randisi

It’s very hard for an author to choose his favorite among all the books he’s written. It’s especially hard for me, after 500+ books have been published.

Among my favorites have always been the two Nick Delvecchio novels, NO EXIT FROM BROOKLYN (1987) and THE DEAD OF BROOKLYN (1991). There are a few reasons for this. One, the books are set in Brooklyn, where I grew up. Two, there is more of me in Delvecchio than any of my other characters. And third, He sprang forth almost wholly formed in that first book, where as other characters—Jacoby, Keough, Gil & Claire—have needed a book or two in order develop. After 1991, Nick fell by the wayside, even though there was a third book planned, partially written and set aside for other things. Now, 20 years after the fact, comes THE END OF BROOKLYN (Perfect Crime Books, 2011). This completes what is now a trilogy, though some reviews and bloggers don’t believe I‘m done with Nick. If there were going to be other books, though, they’d have to be well planned, because this is truly a self-contained trilogy. It ends the way none of my other series have ever ended. Which is the reason I won’t reveal any of the plot here. The first two books are currently available in reprint from Ramble House and Amazon. THE END OF BROOKLYN is available from Perfect Crime Books, CreateSpace or Amazon.

My other favorites are among my most recent books. They are the Rat Pack series. Book #5 is I’M A FOOL TO KILL YOU (Severn House, Jan. 2011), which became available in January of 2011 in hardcover, and is now available in trade paperback. Meanwhile, the 6th book, FLY ME TO THE MORGUE (Severn House, June 2011), is now out in hardcover. #5 features Ava Gardner and just might be my favorite in the series, since I think Ava was one of the most—if not the most—beautiful woman in the history of the movies. #6 features appearances by Bing Crosby and his wife, with cameos by Bob Hope and Jack Benny.

I’m having a good Summer.


David Cranmer here: Mr. Randisi has been kind enough to give away one copy of each of the above titles. You have until this Thursday at midnight to leave your name and e-mail in the comments section of this post and I'll put all the names into a hat and draw three lucky winners. I will announce the winners this Friday.

ICANN's New Domain Policy Resets the Web

The promise of countless new Top Level Domains (TLDs) is sure to set in motion the second Internet gold rush. Full article here.

Hat tip: Steve Weddle.

this letter to Norman Court by Pablo D'Stair (Part 22)

We have come to the end, and yet not so…below is the final section of the novella “this letter to Norman Court” which many fine people have done me the good turn of offering up space to serialize these last two months. But also, as of today (6/20) the FREE-EBOOKs of both “this letter to Norman Court” and the second novella in this series-of-five “Mister Trot from Tin Street” become available for most every electronic device via SmashWords—head over to the updated hub-site at for the links and other curio. And tune in to the fine folks at Thunderdome ( who will be serializing the entirety of the third novella (Helen Topaz, Henry Dollar) starting 07/01.

It has been an overwhelmingly wonderful experience for me, having the opportunity to introduce this work through the efforts of so many great folks (all of them writers whose own work deserves equal if not greater amounts of attention than my own) and I do hope the work has been (and will continue to be) on par with the generosity that has made it available.

Cheers to all who have hosted and followed and I sincerely hope you will join me for more,

Pablo D’Stair

this letter to Norman Court

Pablo D’Stair

I’d consolidated everything down to what’d fit in my duffle, figured there was enough room for the money on top, but if not I’d be able to sort that out. Thought about unloading the gun, but then left it, slipped it back my coat pocket.

Got the train station still headache ridden from the vodka the previous night. I didn’t let myself sit down the train, worried I’d drift off to sleep, wake up missed my station, even more of a headache. I walked end to end of the compartment, when I’d get to each door peer through at the people milling the attached compartments, noted only one of them’d look up each time I did, was probably putting them off.

Thought about going into the storage rental office to officially close out my unit, kind of think I thought it just to stall going in. Something in picking up the money and being able to wander off still hadn’t hit me as reality, part of me thinking I left the money alone I could just have back the life I’d had.

Life I’d had.

Real pause maybe was because the money into things or not, leaving meant I had less a life than I’d had, not had much of one to begin with—but not taking the money didn’t mean a thing along those lines, it was all a fact now, it’d already happened just needed to do it, now.

Stale air came out the room a gulp like it always did the unit first opened, pulled the bulb on, closed myself in as best I could. Tore open the garbage bag I kept the smaller bag in, just dumped the money, smoked a few cigarettes looking at it.

Only nine-and-a-half thousand, including what I had on me I’d taken out last time.

It was kind of a jolt. I emptied my pockets—put the gun back in, removed my coat and set it off to one side—dug through the paper debris I’d filled the bags with, turned out the clothes in my duffle.

Not even nine and a full half—nine thousand three hundred sixty-four dollars, that even totaling in the loose coins I’d accumulated from all over.

As though any amount of thinking would change things, I paced around through a few hardly used cigarettes, turned things over and over. Even had it been ten and half, ten four hundred, I’d’ve believed that.

Wondered could someone’ve found out what I had in here? The staff of the place? Gone through the trouble to undo the trash bags carefully, just clip a bit, put it all back neat?

The crumbled paper strewn around, I really had no way of knowing—maybe they’d even torn through the original bag, found the money, just replaced other bags, other paper, even.

Sat down a last few minutes, repacked my bag of everything except five hundred dollars in my pocket—first same pocket as the gun, then I switched it, then I switch pockets, the gun the money, because I reached more naturally into the one, was tired of feeling the metal there, tired of the sink in my gut every time and my fingers giving it pulps, tapping it like maybe there might be some reason take it out.

Didn’t know exactly what about anything I was down the street, nothing except I just wanted to get someplace I could squirrel the money away again, but same time had no interest on focusing what that’d mean. I wanted to go far, though. I wanted to go away.

Stopped a gas station, asked was there a bus depot, girl working told me there was one in town, pointed out a bench other side of the street, said transit bus would take me in, though she didn’t know which line. Because I felt a little bit guilty I bought a coffee and a random candy bar, halfheartedly flirted enough to get the idea she wasn’t interested—had the feeling she kept looking out to the bench I waited for the bus, worried I wouldn’t get on.

Depot was ugly, looked like it’d been recently painted but whoever’d done it’d done so poor a job looked it hadn’t been painted ten years—floor inside was the same concrete the walk outside. There were a few people didn’t seem transient sleeping on the benches and I noticed the two public phones didn’t have receivers, one of them had just a space where the coin box’d go. There was a television on way over in one corner, below it a dirty fan on oscillate, but this all a corner the benches weren’t near it, just like these two thing’s been discarded over there, casting their mix of shadows no one ever noticed.

Part way I didn’t want to get a ticket, but the bus service was a national chain, figured it was immaterial what the station looked like.

-Hi, need to get a ticket back out Colorado, you have anything leaving that way?

Woman working made a face it’d been a stupid question—probably it was, why’d they only have buses to certain places?

-I lost my ID, though, I said and was going to go on but, same tone to her voice as her eyes rolling’d had to her face, she told me I wouldn’t need to present ID, just fill out a form she didn’t hand me until another minute clacking at the computer, numbly naming off departure times.

Some reason I didn’t take the earliest bus out, walked into town a bit to have lunch, vaguely of a mind to get rid of the gun. Thought most about this I was using the toilet the fast food place, thought I’d drop it down in the bowl, give someone a real startle, maybe even wait around to see the police show up—but just as quick I got the creeps, because say somebody put two and two together it’d been me dumped the gun, what a pointless bit of trouble that would be. Seemed there was the same trouble anywhere I’d lose the thing, felt eyes all over me heavy as hands all over me, coat pocket seemed the best place to keep things subdued and in secret.

Got back to the station, sat, noticed the woman working the desk was smoking so smoked, too.

The husks of the telephones struck me, suddenly. I felt around, found I still had the card on me the guy’s telephone number.

-Are there phones around here actually have phones?

The woman told me across the street or back in town, across the street a convenience store but she said guy owned it would make me buy something.

-Buy something to use the public phone?

She stared at me.

-That’s awful, I said, a little bit giddy for some reason at her blankness, her cruelty toward me, her proper disbelief, her knowing I had my ID on me was just some loser needed to disappear like hundred losers she gave tickets under made believe names to everyday.

Guy just stared at me I said I needed to use the phone.

-Woman the bus station says I need to buy something?

-Minimum two dollars.

-How about can I just give you two dollars?

He shrugged, I left him five dollars on the counter, didn’t get the feeling he was going to be interested in making me change.

Put my coins down the slot, squinted at the card and dialed, phone just rang and rang—I leaned there, listening, listening. Eyes closed, scratched my chin the receiver bulb, hung up. It was funny he’d not smashed the thing, removed the battery, shut it off, but at the same time what did it matter he had or he hadn’t done this or done that some cheap telephone?

Took up the phone again, straight off, the thought was I’d dial Norman’s number just to hear it ring, listen. Same time I heard the dial tone to my ear, I realized I didn’t know the number, probably if I did it wouldn’t ring, would beep dull and insistent that it wasn’t a number anymore, at all.

Mixed in with the tone, don’t know what brought it on, why I’d want to bring it to mind, I spent a minute pretending like I could hear Norman, hear him telling me I was an awful person. He’d told me already before, but for some reason wanted him to say it again I could answer him—I could tell him how he was absolutely right, how same time he had absolutely no idea.

Pablo D’Stair is a writer of novels, shorts stories, and essays.  Founder of Brown Paper Publishing (which is closing its doors in 2012) and co-founder of KUBOA (an independent press launching July 2011) he also conducts the book-length dialogue series Predicate.  His four existential noir novellas (Kaspar Traulhaine, approximate; i poisoned you; twelve ELEVEN thirteen; man standing behind) will be re-issued through KUBOA as individual novella and in the collection they say the owl was a baker’s daughter: four existential noirs.

BEAT to a PULP Classic

HOW I CAME TO WRITE THIS STORY: Chad Eagleton on "Six Bullets For John Carter."

Congrats to John

Well deserved success for John Hornor Jacobs. One of the good guys, folks.

Heart of Darkness

Randy Johnson on Heart of Darkness.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

James Reasoner on the Cash & Miles eBook

A very nice review from James Reasoner on my new eBook. I hope you can take a second and check it out.

The Queue, it Never Ends

Chris La Tray highlights several collections you may want to consider.

BEAT to a PULP #131: I See Black Light by Chad Rohrbacher

Leroy woke up without remembering actually falling asleep. Of course, he didn't usually remember falling asleep, but this time he didn't even remember lying down, closing his eyes, or going through his normal routines: crack knuckles, stretch legs, crack ankles, arch back, breathe deep, turn on side, open eyes, close them, open them again, sigh, and then curse God until blackness finally whisked him out of his body. And he sure as hell didn't remember undressing.

Chad Rohrbacher is at BEAT to a PULP with "I See Black Light."

New Editor

Congrats to Chris Rhatigan on being the new editor at All Due Respect.

Water Grave III

And the award goes to...

1st Prize: RUN FOR THE ROSES by Chris La Tray ($50)

2nd Prize: FINGERPRINTS by Eric Beetner ($35)

3rd Prize: A POCKET FULL OF HORSES by Chad Eagleton ($20)

4th Place: HARD TIMES by Ian Ayris

5th Place: A tie:
A GAME OF HIDE AND SEEK by Patricia Abbott

Happy Father's Day


Clayton Oliver Cranmer


Photo taken 1942


Gramlich on Cash & Miles

Laramie is a true hero, the one who does what has to be done to protect the innocent rather than just doing what the law allows. His partner, Gideon Miles, is cut from the same cloth, although he is a black law officer in a difficult time.

I really enjoyed this collection and highly recommend it. A fun read, but also one that makes you think, and which doesn't skirt the tough issues. Stories like "Melanie," for example, really hit you where you live. -- Charles Gramlich, Razored Zen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

eBook, eSpam

Check out Jack Martin's post on eBook, eSpam. If you self publish you will want to take a look.

The Instant Enemy

She raked her dyed head with her fingers, then rose and went to the picture window. With her back to me, her body was simply an object, an obdalisque shape against the light. Framed in dark-red curtains, the sea looked old as the Mediterranean, old as sin. —From Ross Macdonald's THE INSTANT ENEMY featuring Lew Archer and first published in 1968.
"Moves fast and is full of surprises. . . . The best work Macdonald has done in years." —The New York Times

"A more serious and complex writer than Chandler and Hammett ever were." —Eudora Welty

All Due Respect Closes. Long Live Pulp Modern

Alec Cizak with some news at No Moral Center.

Final Curtain

NYT Sunday Book Review on Lovesey, Sakey, Brundage and Swierczynski.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Surreal South

Quite the impressive group of names.

One of My Favorite Bloggers

Chudney Thomas and the Bluechocolate Diaries.

Photo-Finish Friday -- Deer Photos

These two we're fenced in the backyard last week. The mother jumped out but the little one had trouble following. He made an attempt with a running start but backed out at the last moment--that fence was just too high for him. So the mom bounced back in and walked her little one to the far end of the yard out of our sight. I checked later and both had made it out successfully. Wish we had seen how they did it.

PFF is the creation of Leah J. Utas.

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clayton Cranmer

I've been thinking about my dad a lot this week with Father's Day coming up, and when the spring issue of Needle arrived in my mailbox today, I was oddly surprised to see his name show up on the back cover. Thank you, Mel, for having the last name Clayton!

The Man From Laramie Review

Ron Scheer is one of the finest reviewers around and today he highlights The Man From Laramie.

Interview, I

Over at David Wisehart's top Kindle Author site, there is a pithy interview with little old me. Do you have a quick moment?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Whispers and Cash

Charles Gramlich reviews my book and Travis Erwin's Whispers.

Cash & Miles Praise

In fact, the narrative style is much like episodes of the early Gunsmoke. The dialogue is easy and conversational; the characters’ motivations and feelings are modern. Yet there’s enough grit to situations and human behavior to give it all some realism. It’s an imperfect world without easy answers to its problems. When all is said and done, you recognize it as a metaphor for the world we live in every day. --Ron Scheer, Buddies in the Saddle.
Click here for the Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles.

Chap O'Keefe Responds to 'Into The Void'

Chap O'Keefe at Broken Trails.

The Surreal, Forgetful, Eternal James Bond

Dirk Robertson article at Criminal Element.

Libraries Beef Up E-Book Offerings

In Run-Up To Kindle Lending Program, Libraries Beef Up E-Book Offerings.

Fred A Vampire Named Fred eBook: Bill Crider: Kindle Store: "When someone finally moves into the old, dark, musty house next door, two boys make an unusual friend.

'I always thought that vampires had to have names like Dracula or Vlad or Lestat, but that was before Fred moved into the house next door. In fact, I had a lot of wrong ideas about vampires, but Fred set me straight about most of them.'

In a funny, lively story the boys set out to help Fred lead a 'normal' life."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shock: Cruise in Talks to Play Reacher

Tom Cruise in Talks to Play Jack Reacher in ONE SHOT.

Bill Tilghman

William Matthew "Bill" Tilghman (July 4, 1854 – November 1, 1924) was a lawman and gunslinger in the American Old West.

Tilghman along with Heck Thomas and Chris Madsen were collectively known as the Three Guardsmen and were responsible for the arrest and/or killings of many of the worst criminals in 1890's Oklahoma including the eradication of the infamous Wild Bunch.

His friend and fellow lawman Bat Masterson referred to him as "the greatest of us all."

Teddy Roosevelt said "Tilghman would charge hell with a bucket."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm Not Like Everybody Else

Or at least I like to think so. What about you?

Cash and Gideon for the masses

Jack Martin's thoughts on Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles.

Writer starts process to take his own life

The fantasy writer Terry Pratchett says he has received consent forms requesting assisted suicide but has not yet signed them.

This Made My Day

Two Books Not to Miss by James Reasoner.

What Does MWA Do?

Lee Goldberg responds to Joe Konrath's post at A Writer's Life.

Death By Killing Review of Cash and Miles

Chris Rhatigan reviews ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES over at his terrific site.

I must say I'm very thankful to everyone who has bought a copy of
my eBook. It has been doing well and I've come close to cracking the top ten on Amazon's western chart. The fact that I was riding high over several Louis L'Amour titles brought a big grin to my face.

Many thanks.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Joe Konrath Blog: MWA and Self-Published Writers

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.

L.A. Noire: Perspectives From a SoCal Historian

Interesting article in the LA Weekly. Hat tip: Ron Scheer.

BEAT to a PULP #130: The Man in the Alligator Shoes by Chris F. Holm

"The Toll Collectors" ... "A Rip through Time: The Dame, the Doctor, and the Device" ... "A Native Problem." Three of the most successful stories at BEAT to a PULP, all from the same man. He's had one success after another with strong stories of crime and horror appearing around the web and also in print. We're now anxiously awaiting his debut novel, DEAD HARVEST, coming in March 2012 (Angry Robot Books).

Chris F. Holm is among the finest writers to emerge from the pulp webzines and I'm very pleased to say he's once again at BEAT to a PULP with "The Man in the Alligator Shoes."

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Review and a Milestone

Steve M over at Western Fiction Review weighs in on Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles. Also this is post #1000 for me. Amazing to think when I started in February 2008 there was no BEAT to a PULP, I hadn't published a story, and my social network was nil. I hope on occasion something interesting and noteworthy has appeared in these pages. In three years I've yet to check stats on this page, but gauging from comments and e-mails I think I'll keep it around a little longer. Anyway, I'm rambling. Thank you, folks.

Miss Marple, Everlasting

Terrie Farley Moran is at Criminal Element today.

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Available on Kindle

For those of you new to my blog I write western noir short stories under the name of Edward A. Grainger.

The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles spotlights the thrilling tales of two deputy U.S. Marshals working in 1880s Wyoming Territory. Cash Laramie, is known as the outlaw marshal for his unorthodox way of dealing with criminals and his cavalier approach to life. Gideon Miles is one of the first African American marshals in the service and has skills with guns, knives, and tracking that are unrivaled. This collection broaches issues like racism, child abuse, morality, and social justice.

Adventures retails for 99 cents and can be found here.

Snubnose Press

Snubnose Press is brought to you by the folks behind Spinetingler Magazine.

Hat tip: Keith Rawson.

Listen to the Bish

Bish's Beat on a short story collection you should buy before you blow that dollar elsewhere.

"For 99 cents, you get a lot of action and adventure."

Mel Odom on this incredible new collection I'm curious to know if you have heard about. Check out Mr. Odom's recommendation here.

Under the Sun

The talented Sandra Seamans on our collaboration.

Edward A. Grainger, Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles

Ron Scheer with a review of my western noir eBook.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meet Cash Laramie

ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES should be available on Kindle tomorrow for 99 cents. Here is a mini-profile of The Outlaw Marshal.

Age: 30 (born November 24, 1855)
Height: 6'
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dark
Characteristics: He wears an Arapaho arrowhead made by his adopted mother around his neck. His catch phrase is "Wouldn’t you like to think so." He smokes cheroots and drinks Maryland Rye.
Occupation: Deputy U.S. Marshal working out of the federal building in Cheyenne Wyoming Territory.
Nickname: Referred to as The Outlaw Marshal for his tendency to be brutal and walk the fine line between good and evil when it comes to delivering his unique brand of justice.
Friends: His only close relationships is with his prostitute girlfriend named Lenora Wilkes and his partner, Gideon Miles.

Illustration of Cash Laramie by William Ervin.

Summer Reading: Comics

NYT reviews some graphic novels.

Kids and Reading

How to Kill the Love of Reading at January Magazine and my buddy Charles Gramlich with To Make A Reader.

An Article I Missed

A Killer Vision of a Corrupt Society.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Foreword by Chris F. Holm for Adventures

I have a confession to make: I’ve never been a fan of Westerns. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against them—it’s just they never grabbed me in the way a good detective story grabs me. They always seemed to me as dusty as the desert towns in which they’re set, more museum pieces than living, breathing stories. Relics of a bygone era.

My Papa would’ve shaken his head to hear me say that. He was a cop, and a consummate storyteller; it was from him I inherited my penchant for writing and reading crime fiction. But Papa didn’t discriminate between a good cop story and a good Western. To him, it didn’t matter if Eastwood was wearing a poncho and a wide-brimmed hat or a suit and a badge—there the clicker stopped either way. I always figured it was generational—for Papa, crime and Westerns were of a piece, but as a little kid whose feet couldn’t reach the floor as I sat on the couch beside him, the Wild West seemed as far away as Roman times, and as textbook-dull as well.

So it was with trepidation I read the first Cash and Miles story David Cranmer sent my way. “Miles to Go,” this was. It’s not that I doubted David’s talents as a writer—I simply felt that Westerns were (caps warranted) Not My Thing. I figured I’d give the story a skim, find a sentence or two I thought worth highlighting, and pass along a “Job well done.”

Instead, I found myself riveted. Cash and Miles proved to be nuanced, interesting characters, men whose honor and decency divorced them from the petty prejudices of their time, but whose backgrounds placed them in the centers of said prejudices nonetheless. What’s more, the deft hand with which David dealt with matters of class and race made the story...well, not modern, exactly, so much as timeless and universal, and certainly a far cry from the museum pieces of my youth. And to cap it all off, the story itself was breakneck: a thrilling manhunt, a tale of battle-hardened friendship, all draped effortlessly in Western trappings. For me, the story struck the perfect balance between crime and Western fiction, and in so doing, provided me an entry point to a vibrant genre that had heretofore proved inaccessible to me.

Since that day, I’ve eagerly consumed every scrap of Cash and Miles I could get my eyeballs on (occasionally, I confess, nudging David to write another when I’d exhausted the existing supply). And I’ve started delving into the Westerns of David’s fellow fence-straddlers—guys like James Reasoner and Elmore Leonard, who, like my Papa, didn’t see much of a division between cowboys and crime at all.

I don’t mind telling you that, in this instance, being proved wrong doesn’t suck a bit.

‘Course, if my Papa were still around, he’d be sure to say I told you so.

Dust Devils by Roger Smith

Hat tip: A.N. Smith.

The demise of a 1950s starlet

Mr. Thomson has a fine article in The New Republic.

Cullen Interviews Starr

Cullen Gallagher interview Jason Starr.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

You Look Like Rain

Great music recommended by Chris Holm.

Du Maurier Paintings

Daphne Du Maurier Paintings Will Be Displayed.

Ayn Rand Letter to Chess Masters

Ayn Rand's Letter to Boris Spassky, Bobby Fisher.

The World of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles

My Cash & Miles adventures mostly take place in the 1880s. An upcoming story is set in 1885 to be exact which, as you can see, was a busy year.

'85 Timeline:

January 4 – The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.

February 21 – United States President Chester A. Arthur dedicates the Washington Monument.

March 4 – Grover Cleveland succeeds Chester A. Arthur as President of the United States.

March 14 – W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's The Mikado opens at the Savoy Theatre.

May 2 - Good Housekeeping Magazine goes on sale for the first time.

June 17 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.

July 6 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies. The patient is Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

July 14 – Sarah E. Goode is the first female African-American to apply for and receive a patent, for the invention of the hideaway bed.

July 23. News of the death of Gen. U. S. Grant, at Mount McGregor, N. Y., received at Philadelphia at 8.12 A. M. The State House bell was tolled sixty-three times, one stroke for each year of his age. Immediately flags were hoisted at half mast in all parts of the city.

September 2 – The Rock Springs Massacre occurs in Rock Springs, Wyoming; 150 white miners attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.

September 15 – A train wreck of the P.T. Barnum Circus kills giant elephant Jumbo.

November 7 – Canadian Pacific Railway: In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on a railway extending across Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald considers the project to be vital to Canada due to the exponentially greater potential for military mobility.

Books published: The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time, Jules Verne’s Mathias Sandorf, and H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon's Mines.

Click over to Wikipedia for more '85 events.

Illustration of Gideon Miles by William Erving from the forthcoming eBook ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES.

Found Poetry

A Lost E.E. Cummings Poem Discovered.

First Lines: Fredric Brown

Cullen Gallagher with a top post at Pulp Serenade.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bon Temps

Shovel deaths make for bon temps! Such good times, in fact, I’ve written shovel upside the noggin into two of my crime stories. The newest, "Bon Temps," is my first foray into dark comedy, featured in the latest issue of Needle: A Magazine of Noir. The plot concerns a small time crook named Luther breaking into a home to swipe some traveling money. He comes across the lady of the house standing over the corpse of her husband--a husband she has just murdered. She asks the burglar to help dispose of the body and she is willing to pay him handsomely. Does he accept? Who gets hit with the shovel? Have I written what I think is a clever little piece of short prose? There's only one way to find out and the answer is here.

The BEAT to a PULP Schedule

6/12 "The Man in the Alligator Shoes" by Chris F. Holm

6/19 "Junkie Geek" by Jocheem Steen

6/26 "I See Black Light" by Chad Rohrbacher

7/3 "A Rip Through Time: Chaos in the Stream" by Garnett Elliott

7/10 "A Glutton for Punishment" by Thomas Pluck

7/17 "Disintegration" by Glenn Gray

From the Editor's Desk: EQMM, June 6, 2011

The Janet Hutchings post can be found here.

"Imperfect but fascinating"

Capablanca vs O Bernstein, 1911
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

From: Fred Reinfeld. The Immortal Games of Capablanca. Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, 1973.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"We live, as we dream…alone…"

Richard Prosch's early thoughts on HEART OF DARKNESS.

Busy Week Part 2

I’m working on two different anthos in various stages of completion. The first I’m co-editing with two masters who have been kind enough to involve me and allow BEAT to a PULP to publish it. We’re looking to have it completed by Bouchercon. John Hornor Jacobs has done an excellent cover and the writing talent involved is tremendous. The other collection is ROUND TWO which will be appearing much later in the year. I'm excited that many fine authors like Vin Packer, Vicki Hendricks, Dave Zeltserman, and Bill Pronzini, to name a few, are contributing top stories. Matthew P. Mayo is co-editing this beast and James O'Barr is once again providing the art.

ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE AND GIDEON MILES eBook will be arriving next week. Little d and I are formatting and adding illustrations. Chris F. Holm provides the foreword to this seven-story collection featuring two new tales.

Which brings me to my part in Naomi Johnson's Watery Grave Invitational. I have had two weeks to begin, write, and polish a short story which has been a hard but rewarding experience for me. Hard because I don’t write and complete stories in that kind of time. Rewarding because a tale called "Reflections in a Glass of Maryland Rye" sprang from Ms. Johnson's invite. The story is only about 1200 words and continues to follow Cash Laramie down the path he's forging for himself, adding a nice wrinkle to the proceedings. BUT, I couldn't complete the story in time. Well, I could have but it would not have met with my final approval. I felt as low as a snake's belly writing to Naomi yesterday but she graciously allowed me to bow out. I've promised her the finished story for THE DROWNING MACHINE when I'm done. Naomi is a sweetheart and I hope everyone supports the contest.

Darkness Too Visible

Interesting discussion on Y/A novels. Hat tip: Chris Holm.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Other Gunsmoke

A fine post on the Gunsmoke radio series.

Pulp Extract: Hallam by L.J. Washburn

A stray beam of moonlight filtered into the saloon set and glinted off the long barrel of the Colt. Hallam spun the cylinder, checked the loads.
Then he reholstered the gun, strode to the batwings, and pushed through them, like he had hundreds of times in the past, both make-believe … and real.
This wasn’t make-believe. This was a showdown. A real live showdown.

More on Matt Dillon

Gunsmoke’s Marshal Matt Dillon Rides into Sunset.

A Post I Enjoyed

Things I've Learned Since My First Book Got Published.

Hat tip: Chris F. Holm.

Friday, June 3, 2011

On Dangerous Ground

Randy reviews On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir.

Heart of Darkness

I've seen APOCALYPSE NOW so many times I could stand in for Brando or Hopper, but I've never read the book that the movie is based on. I found HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad on Kindle for free and beginning tomorrow will begin the voyage in search of Kurtz along with Ron, Chris, Rich, and Randy. I don't see any chapters (or very few) in my copy, so I'm going to read 50% this week and then the rest the following week, finishing up by June 18th or so. Sound good? Wanna join in? Drop a comment.

James Arness 1923-2011

Damn. One of my childhood heroes has passed away. RIP.

The towering actor, who passed away Friday, was best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on the small screen for 20 years.


DeWit Is Mix of Mystical, Hard-Boiled

Claire DeWitt, self-proclaimed world's greatest detective.

Dark Valentine Closes

The End Has Come.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Busy Week Part 1

It's been a busy week around the Cranmer homestead. Ava is eating very milky rice cereal from a spoon and rolling over with a little help from daddy. She has mastered the art of flirting when she doesn’t want to be somewhere and knows the old softy will pick her up. She finds it works on her mother as well. We’re so in trouble!

Little d, aka my charmer, is working on some images for Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles noir western collection I have coming out in the next few weeks. I found a fine artist who drew Cash, Miles, and Kid Eddie. I have decided this will be an eBook consisting of seven stories, two of them being brand-spanking new, all for 99 cents.

And, I've been eating a lot of Ben and Jerry's Maple Blondie limited edition ice cream. They have a sexy spokeswoman, but I would push the product for them--free of charge--if they asked. Although I wouldn't turn down a Maple Blondie payment.


I'm heading over to check out Ron Scheer's review of KING SOLOMON'S MINES. You are more than welcome to stop by.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Naipaul finds no women writer his literary match

Nobel laureate is not new to controversy.

Death Sentence

Cullen Gallagher with another top post at Pulp Serenade.

"Lured into the Spiderweb, eh?" Paul Brazill Tweeted to David Cranmer

So, I'm almost 48 hours into Tweeting. I really wasn’t going to do it but the tipping of the scale came from Chris Holm: Can't hurt, right?

My first tweet wasn’t on the scale of Bell’s "Mr Watson—Come here—I want to see you.” It was, "What the hell am I doing, Chris?" But soon enough I was corresponding with several writers and it just flowed. I didn’t feel obligated to join in the conversations but did on occasion and it has been very easy to walk away from. What benefits? Tons of info concerning the writing world, new book releases and really enjoying folk’s thoughts on a whole host of activities.

Another thing about me is I'm a journal/diary kind of nut. I have a running file on my laptop where I mention what the family has done for the day, writing word count, etc. Some of the trivial things I will be tweeting about makes for another collection of memories. If other folks get a kick out of them then that's great, but for me it's another way to record stuff that might not have gone into the journal.

I don't see a downside at this point. I find Twitter to be a valuable tool (I really surprised myself on this one).

If you have joined Twitter recently, do you agree?

Peacemaker Awards

Big congrats to all and especially to Wayne D. Dundee. Well deserved.

New Story at All Due Respect

"Severance" by Jim Wilsky at the mighty ALL DUE RESPECT.


Marilyn Monroe would have been 85 today.