APPLICANTS:And Jimmy Callaway has accepted his automatic invitation, given as a result of his placement in last year's contest.
MEXICO by A.J. Hayes published by A Twist of Noir
BABY FOOD by Liam José published by The Flash Fiction Offensive
LAWYER #4 by Dan Ames published on Ames to Kill
VICTIMS OF THE NIGHT by Kathleen Ryan published by A Twist of Noir
AN ARM AND A LEG by Nigel Bird published by Crimespree, issue #34
SHE GOT HERS by Pamila Payne published on The Journal
THE SOUTHWEST CHIEF by Josh Converse published by Plots With Guns
THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED by Chad Eagleton published by A Twist of Noir
I'm keeping a running list of all applicants in the sidebar, so authors, please: Make sure I include you within 24 hours of sending your story, that I spelled everything correctly, and that the link works as it should.
Sophie Littlefield, Carla Buckley, and Brad Parks. What a triumvirate! All I can say is, to know them is to love them. I've read and enjoyed Sophie's and Brad's debut novels, and I'm looking forward to getting my copy of Carla's debut book, The Things That Keep Us Here. Yes, it's true: Her book sold out before I could get a copy! (That Sophie snatched up the last one, and she's just way too fit to fight with.) Carla amused everyone by trying out her urban dialect while reading an excerpt from Brad's book, while Brad gave Sophie's Stella Hardesty character a southern accent in his interpretive reading.
Joe Hartlaub. Joe is an attorney, actor, reviewer, and the author of one of the more memorable short stories I read last year, Crossed Double, from Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can't Put Down. And I'm proud to own him and Carla, too, as homies. Yes, we all live right here in central Ohio. When you add Craig McDonald to the mix, I'd say we've got an amazing pool of talent on tap locally.
All of the authors were amazingly generous with their time, but yesterday was a might cool and breezy, and poor Carla and Sophie were turning blue with cold after a couple of hours. Granted, Brad did offer to share his sport coat but then there was some talk of cooties, and the ladies wisely chose chill bumps as the lesser of two weevils.
In other matters, I have been remiss in not mentioning the quality of the short stories in the first issue of Needle: A Magazine of Noir. Full disclosure: I co-edited several of these stories. You may think that disqualifies me as an objective voice, but as this entire venture has been a labor of love, not profit, from everyone involved, you can rest assured that I have no personal stake in selling copies of Needle. But you should buy it and read it. Why? There are sixteen stories, meaning sixteen good reasons to read the magazine, but I'll just give you two: Hilary Davidson and Dave Zeltserman. 'Nuff said.
Catching up on the books I've read lately: C.J. Box's newest Joe Pickett novel, Nowhere to Run, is a tale about twin brothers hiding out in the rough terrain of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The story around these brothers is an intriguing one and I have no doubt the book will delight Joe Pickett fans.
Sharon McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun is a cozy mystery which gently lampoons the people we have all seen (and sometimes are) at science fiction conventions.
Hemingway Deadlights by Michael Atkinson presents Ernest Hemingway in the role of amateur sleuth. Here Hemingway is less literary-god and more drink-befuddled comic, as he pursues the killer who used an antique harpoon to kill one of Papa's occasional drinking buddies. Here's the book trailer: