Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 46

As posted by Peter DiChellis to our list…
This week’s blog steps up to the plate and takes a swing. Links to reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes free reads of all five Agatha Award nominated short stories. Plus, EQMM Editor Janet Hutchings discusses a new trend in submissions she is seeing and publishing, as well as a type of mystery she often doesn't like.
A short walk down a dark street (#46): celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

Saturday, March 30, 2019

SMFS Members Published in Murder-A-Go-Go's: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of The Go-Go's


Several members have been published in the new anthology, Murder-A-Go-Go's: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of The Go-Go's. Published by Down & Out Books, the read is available in print or digital formats from the publisher, Amazon, and other vendors. The SMFS members in the anthology are:

Eric Beetner with “Skidmarks On My Heart.”

Craig Faustus Buck with “Head Over Heels.”

Stephen Buehler with “Girl Of 100 Lists.”

Sarah M. Chen with “Fading Fast.”

Jen Conley with “Good for Gone.”

Thomas Pluck with “We Got The Beat.”

Travis Richardson with “Johnny Are You Queer?”

Synopsis:
The Go-Go's made music on their own terms and gave voice to a generation caught between the bra-burning irreverence of the seventies and the me-first decadence of the eighties. Anthems like "We Got the Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," and "Vacation" are an indelible part of our collective soundtrack, but more than that, they speak to the power and possibility of youth. Inspired by punk but not yoked to it, the Go-Go's broke important musical ground by combining cheeky lyrics, clever hooks, and catchy melodies, perfectly capturing what it feels like to be young and female in the process. 

But beyond the Go-Go's effervescent sound and cheerful pop stylings, a darkness underlies many of their lyrics and melodies, hinting at the heartache and frustration inherent in growing up. In other words, plenty to inspire murder and mayhem. 

Net proceeds from Murder-a-Go-Go's benefit Planned Parenthood, a crucial provider of women's affordable reproductive healthcare. 

With a foreword by Go-Go's co-founder Jane Wiedlin and original stories by 25 kick-ass authors, editor Holly West has put together an all-star crime fiction anthology inspired by one of the most iconic bands of the eighties and beyond. 

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Bern Sy Moss


Back in May SMFS celebrated, as we do each year, International Short Story Month. The celebration led to the creation of the weekly short story segment SMFS Short Story Saturdays. Each Saturday we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old and were not previously linked to during the May 2018 Short Story Month event.


For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, list member Bern Sy Moss shares the short story, “The Perfect Patsy” archived at Mysterical-E. The tale first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue. 



If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Guest Post: ME AND MY SHADOW WITH A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WRITING by Margaret Mendel

Please welcome SMFS member Margaret Mendel to our blog today…

ME AND MY SHADOW WITH A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WRITING 

Jenny had been sitting at the computer for hours. The story was not flowing. There was an ending and the introduction started the short story off with a bang. It was the danged middle that was giving Jenny trouble. That section was dull, rambling and Jenny was nowhere near figuring out what to do with it.
Shadow, a scruffy rescue dog, sat patiently on the floor next to Jenny with his nose under the desk. The writing had been going so badly these days that Jenny no longer felt comfortable taking the time out to walk poor old Shadow. So Jenny paid a dog walker to scuttle the dog up and down the city streets making sure he did his thing at least twice a day while Jenny’s battle raged on with the middle of the story.
The sun had been down for hours. The couple that lived in the adjoining apartment had come home from work. The smells from their dinner usually drifted under Jenny’s door late in the evening and lingered until she went to bed. Tonight they had fish, not Jenny’s most favorite odor.
Jenny reached for her cigarettes. The cellophane pack made a crinkling sound as she lifted it. Jenny knew it was nearly empty earlier in the evening. Hopefully one cigarette remained. She was wrong. The pack was empty. Angry with herself, angry at her story, angry at the smell of fried fish, Jenny quickly stood up. Most of the day had been spent sitting at the desk staring at the computer screen. Until then she felt nothing but the cushion of the chair against her bottom. Now standing, her body ached all over. Her knees were stiff. Her neck had a crook in it. Stretching backward to loosen her hips, Jenny looked down at Shadow. “And this is all in the name of writing,” she said.
Grabbing her keys, slipping on a pair of shoes, Jenny put a leash on Shadow and they walked down the four flights of stairs. Opening the front door a cool damp breeze gently brushed against Jenny’s face. She took a deep breath, turned left and headed toward the all-night deli several blocks away. The streetlights gave an illusion of security as yellowish neon puddles of light dotted the sidewalk.
Once inside the deli, still a bit dazed from lack of companionship, the absense of fresh air and of being locked in the squishy middle of her short story for who knows how many days, Jenny paid no attention to what was going on in the store. Then slightly recovering from her self induced isolation, she saw three young men gathered near the counter. Jenny looked at the clerk. He glanced back and forth between Jenny and the men. The clerk’s hands trembled. Then Jenny saw that one of the men was holding a gun. It was nearly covered over by the man’s jacket, but the guns shiny muzzle poked out just enough to be seen.
Holding tightly to Shadow’s leash, Jenny had no idea what to do next.
“What you looking at lady?” one of the men said to Jenny.
“Nothing,” Jenny replied.
The guy with the gun eased closer to the counter and said, “Good, cause nosey people usually get into trouble.” He looked at the clerk, “Now where were we? Oh, yes, our transaction.”
Shadow growled. Jenny had never seen her dog behave this way. The dog pulled at his leash, crouching as he eased toward the three men. The dog bared his teeth. His bark, usually within the range of a normal dog barking, now sounded mean and dangerous, as though the dog had somehow been transformed into a wild beast. The dog lunged and sank his teeth into one of the men, ripping into the pant leg. Shadow grabbed at the man again, his sharp teeth tore into the guy’s flesh. The man cried out. The other thief kicked at Shadow. The dog attacked him and with a fierce growl he clamped his strong jaws onto the flailing hand of the confused robber.
The once confident thieves dripped large puddles of blood on the tile floor. The man with the gun took aim at the barking dog. But before he could manage a shot, the clerk cracked the robber over the head with a baseball bat. The thief fell to the floor and the clerk wasted no time in dialing 911.
With a baseball bat in one hand and a cell phone in the other, the clerk said to the robbers, “You make a move for the door, and I’ll send your heads out into left field.”
The bleeding thieves cowered while Shadow continued to bark.
It didn’t take long for a patrol car to arrive and the thieves were taken away.
Jenny purchased her cigarettes and a candy bar, but the clerk refused to take any money and gave her a bag of dog treats.
Jenny and Shadow wasted no time walking home. Jenny’s heart beat faster than she ever remembered. Her breathing was deep and labored as she quickly ascended the stairs to her fourth floor apartment.
Unlocking the door she wasted no time closing and bolting it behind her. Collapsing onto an easy chair in her living room, Jenny tried to calm her body. The pulse beat wildly in her neck. Slowly as the minutes ticked by, Jenny could feel herself relax. Shadow lay next to her on the floor. A few dribbles of dried blood dotted the top of the dog’s head. Jenny reached down and petted Shadow gently on the rump.
In all the excitement Jenny forgot about the squishy middle of her short story and instead wondered what had prompted Shadow to behave as he did. After about a half hour or more of calming herself, it came to her. Not why Shadow had acted as he did, but how that troublesome middle of the story could be fixed.
“I got it,” Jenny shouted.
Shadow jerked up his head. He yawned widely.
Jenny rushed over to the computer, “I got it, Shadow! I know how to fix the middle.”
The dog slowly got up, positioned himself at Jenny’s feet with his nose in a favorite spot just under the desk.
#
Here are some tips for when you are ‘stuck’.
1.      Go for a walk.
2.      Do something physical to increase your heart rate.
3.      Walk a dog, your dog or a neighbor’s dog.
4.      Jump up and down.
5.       Watch a really scary movie. 
6.      Do something to distract your self from the every-day mundane loop in the thinking process.
 Then relax and open up to new possibilities.
    
Margaret Mendel ©2019

Margaret Mendel lives in New York City and is a past board member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, NYC. Margaret is an award- winning author who has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has published two novels, Fish Kicker and Pushing Water and her most recent publication, Patches, is a collection of short stories. For more than twenty years Margaret worked in the mental health field, though now she is a full time author. Photography is also an import part of her life and Margaret not only drags a laptop, but a Nikon D7000 camera wherever she goes. Lean more about Margaret on her website at: http://www.pushingtime.com/home/

Monday, March 25, 2019

THE STILETTO GANG: Mystery Short Story Nominations

THE STILETTO GANG: Mystery Short Story Nominations: by Paula Gail Benson This time of year, it’s great to be able to celebrate some of the best in mystery short stories with the nominati...

SMFS Member Publication News: Deborah Lacy


SMFS member Deborah Lacy’s short story, “Please See Me” appears in the just released anthology, Fault Lines: Stories by Northern California Crime Writers. Published by the Sisters in Crime Northern California Chapter, the read is available in print and digital formats at Amazon. Edited by Margaret Lucke.

Synopsis:

Fault lines in the earth can shake our world. Fault lines within people give rise to wrongs that must be righted. Sisters in Crime/Northern California’s first short story anthology invites you to take a journey into mystery and intrigue, with 19 short stories that explore crime, guilt, and justice in our earthquake-prone region and beyond. Contributing authors: Ana Brazil, Jenny Carless, Diana Chambers, David Hagerty, Vinnie Hansen, Katherine Bolger Hyde, Judith Janeway, Mariah Klein, Mariella Krause, Susan Kuchinskas, Deborah Lacy, Bette Golden Lamb, J.J. Lamb, Margaret Lucke, Susan C. Shea, Robin C. Stuart, Nancy Tingley, CJ Verburg, and C.M. West. Foreword by Terry Shames and Diana Chambers.



Little Big Crimes Review: The Passenger by Kirsten Tranter

Little Big Crimes: The Passenger, by Kirsten Tranter: "The Passenger," by Kirsten Tranter, in Sydney Noir, edited by John Dale, Akashic Press, 2019. The publisher sent me an advan...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 45

As posted by SMFS member Peter DiChellis to our list…

This week’s blog hands out the goodies: Links to reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes reviews of story collections by Reed Farrel Coleman and Patti Abbott. Plus, an essay on writing short vs. long from author and editor Richard Thomas.
A short walk down a dark street (#45): celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

Saturday, March 23, 2019

SMFS Member Publication News: Nupur Tustin


SMFS list member Nupur Tustin’s short story, “The Baker’s Boy: A Young Haydn Mystery Short Story” appears at Kings River Life Magazine today. The story is free to read online.

Criminal Minds: To Prologue or Not to Prologue by Paul D. Marks

Criminal Minds: To Prologue or Not to Prologue: Which writing advice tropes do you follow, and which do you ignore in your books and short stories?  by Paul D. Marks Before I get to th...

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Kevin Eagan


Back in May SMFS celebrated, as we do each year, International Short Story Month. The celebration led to the creation of the weekly short story segment SMFS Short Story Saturdays. Each Saturday we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old and were not previously linked to during the May 2018 Short Story Month event.


For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, Kevin Eagan shares the short story, “The Bookseller’s Tale” archived at his site.  The mystery short story originally appeared in print in The Worchester Review (Vol 7 2014) and is one of four short stories published by The Worchester Review archived at his website. 



If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SMFS Members Cited in “How to Start a Story: 10 Ways to Get Your Story Off to a Great Start” by Joslyn Chase


Two SMFS members are cited in the piece, “How to Start a Story: 10 Ways to Get Your Story Off to a Great Start” by Joslyn Chase.  The two SMFS members cited in the piece are David H. Hendrickson and Alan Orloff. The piece can be found at The Writer Practice.

SMFS Member Podcast: Jack Bates


SMFS list member Jack Bates’ short story, “Two Men On, One Man Dead” is currently the subject of Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. Actor Ariel Linn reads the baseball themed tale that has never been published or recorded before.  

Podcast Synopsis:

This episode features the mystery short story, Two Men On, One Man Dead by Jack Bates, and is read by local actor Ariel Linn. This is a baseball mystery, which seemed perfect with the baseball season nearly here! This story has never before been published or recorded. In each episode, we share with you mystery short stories and mystery novel first chapters read by actors from the San Joaquin Valley. You can learn more about Jack Bates and his writing on his website.

SMFS Members Publishing News: Dave Goudsward

SMFS member Dave Goudsward writing as Dave Bernard has a short story in the just published  Pulp Adventures #31. His story, “The Death Clock” is the featured cover story. Published by Bold Ventures Press, the read is currently only available at the publisher in paperback format. Previous issues have subsequently appeared in both digital and print format at Amazon and one would reasonably expect the same here in the coming days.

Publisher Synopsis:

MYSTERY, SCIENCE FICTION, HORROR — NEW AND CLASSIC PULP FICTION!

Audrey Parente, editor

Cover art by Norman Saunders

Interior illustration by Aleena-Valentine Lopez

CLASSIC PULP FICTION

  • "Noggins Gets His Man" by Johnston McCulley
  • A police detective bides his time hoping a killer might crack
  • "You Can Get Away With Murder" by Charles Boeckman
    Amidst the sea of Mardi Gras revelers, two detectives follow a trail of clues to find a killer.
  • "Flapjack Meehan’s Coal Strike" by Frank Richardson Pierce
    It can't be fool's gold when it's lumpy and black ...
NEW PULP FICTION

  • "’The Death Clock" by David Bernard
    Antique heirloom or deadly obsession?
  • "The Ghost of Torreon" by Edd Vick and Manny Frishberg
    Time and space — an inventor may run out of both …?

  • "When the Punishment Fits the Crime" by Carson Demmans
    A rat turns stoolie …
  • "A Fear of Winning" by Gary Lovisi
    Cheaters never win … but winners just might cheat …
  • "Daemon Mask: Crimson Wings of Silence"
    by Stuart Hopen & Russ Martin
    [35-page comic section] The Whisper clashes with a mad scientist whose "cleansing agent" could whitewash reality!
    [The Whisper's origin story appears in Pulp Adventures #24]
SHORT FEATURE

  • "Happy 100th Birthday, Zorro" by Rich Harvey
    Strike up the parade in Chillicothe, Illinois.
  • Editorial by Audrey Parente

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 44

As posted by list member Peter DiChellis to our list…
This week’s blog dishes the straight dope: Links to reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes a free-to-read lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in an attic. Plus, Michael Bracken explains why editors sometimes reject the writer, not the story.
A short walk down a dark street (#44): celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter


SMFS Members Published in Mystery Weekly Magazine: March 2019 Issue


Two SMFS list members are published in the Mystery Weekly Magazine: March 2019. The read is available in print and digital formats from the publisher as well as Amazon. The two members in this issue are:

 BV Lawson with “A Flash of Red.”

Jeanna Weart with a “Flap Over A Ring” which is “A-You-Solve-It” mystery. The answer will be in the next issue.


Synopsis:

At the cutting edge of crime fiction, Mystery Weekly Magazine presents original short stories by the world’s best-known and emerging mystery writers. 
The stories we feature in our monthly issues span every imaginable subgenre, including cozy, police procedural, noir, whodunit, supernatural, hardboiled, humor, and historical mysteries. Evocative writing and a compelling story are the only certainty.
Get ready to be surprised, challenged, and entertained--whether you enjoy the style of the Golden Age of mystery (e.g., Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle), the glorious pulp digests of the early twentieth century (e.g., Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler), or contemporary masters of mystery.

In our cover feature story, “K O’Connor” by Mike McHone, a once-adored professional boxer shows up dead and it's up to detectives Molly Fetterly and Jim Biggins to find the killer, but they'll soon realize the killer was closer to the victim then they could've initially imagined.

“A Case Of Southern Discomfort” by C. L. Cobb brings a New York transplant to Southern climes where he finds bad news can happen when things go South.

“Let's Talk Toxins” by Martin Zeigler is a witty mystery that begins when Etta turns to Otto in bed and tells him she poisoned his dinner. Otto, who enjoys a good joke as much as anyone, decides to play along.

“The Truth Of The Matter” by Gina Burgess crosses into the supernatural after the death of the town engraver. His son and daughter-in-law receive mysterious, engraved messages suggesting someone in town has a secret.

Gregory L. Norris presents “Antiques”, a suspenseful caper involving an aging actress who vanishes on the day of her 100th birthday.

In “Finishing Off Gammie” by Stan Dryer, Harry Fredder decides to kill his mother-in-law. Things don't go exactly as planned as Gammie turns out to be a lot more resourceful than he thought and soon the tables turn.

In “A Flash Of Red” by BV Lawson, a mysterious selfie, the murder of a college student, and attacks on homeless people weren’t exactly the Christmas presents crime consultant Scott Drayco had in mind.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: James Blakey


SMFS member James Blakey reports that his short story, “The Hockey Card Heist’ appears in the current issue of Woman’s World Magazine. The story is in the “solve-it yourself” section of the March 25, 2019 issue.

Mr. Blakey also passes on word that his short story, “The Case of the Vanishing Unicorns” is in the new anthology, Gunsmoke & Dragonfire: A Fantasy Western Anthology. Edited by Diane Morrison and just published by Aradia Publishing, the read is currently available in digital format at Amazon.


Synopsis:
From the drought-plagued plains of Mars, to a post-apocalyptic Canada, to the familiar American West and Mexico, to other dimensions and other worlds weird and wonderful, an international cast of bestselling, award-winning, established, and emerging authors brings you 25 strange western tales:

Robert Lee Beers - A hardboiled P.I. and his partner must find their way back to the present from 1906 San Francisco before the Big One hits, dodging gunslingers and the risk of changing history, with only a drunken misanthropic wizard to help them...
James Blakey - A sheriff must question a colourful cast of characters to discover who has stolen a unicorn rancher's herd...
Zach Chapman - A card-cheating Spellslinger must duel a mysterious Green Gunslinger to his damnation or salvation...
Sara Codair - Two Martian sheriffs must stop a gang of outlaws from stealing a settlement's precious water, if they can keep their marriage together long enough to do it...
Eric S. Fomley - A marshal comes to town seeking an outlaw, but neither he nor the outlaw are the ordinary kind...
Milo James Fowler – Heroic Coyote Cal, the witch Donna Jamieson, and his faithful sidekick Big Yap, must stop a monster from ravaging the livestock and people of a town in the western desert...
Ron S. Friedman - A WWI pilot shot down over the Amazon must survive Germans, crazy scientists, the jungle and dinosaurs...
Carrie Gessner - An elven veteran is called back to face her demons when a little girl is snatched to serve the army that destroyed her...
Paul Alex Gray - The heir to the Bourbon Throne must earn coin in America to overthrow the French Republic and reclaim his birthright, so he builds a fantastic contraption to aid him...
Jude-Marie Green - Sorceress Jane Smith knows her partner Donna Quick is quite mad, but she follows her anyway...
Brent A. Harris - Marshal Bass Reeves has been asked for help by a desperate frontier settlement beleaguered by a dragon...
Ethan Hedman - A wandering gunfighter inherits an enchanted weapon, but it's broken...
Joachim Heijndermans - Two outlaws hole up in a quiet town full of terrified townsfolk, but all is not as it seems...
Russell Hemmell - Two investigators must discover why an entire colony in the Kuiper Belt has disappeared, leaving nothing but an anachronistic western frontier town in its place...
Liam Hogan - A young outlaw is hunted by an implacable mechanical foe...
G. Scott Huggins - A blacksmith with ghostly allies receives an unusual, and dangerous, client...
Sean Jones - The last Norse descendant in North America, who swears vengeance on the Comanche for killing his wife and village, is given supernatural aid by the Navajo...
Mackenzie Kincaid - Junior died helping Pa maintain the fence against the Somethings, so now 12-year-old Jane must take his place...
R. Daniel Lester - An old tap-dancing celebrity defaults on the payments for his magical shoes, and a repo agent has come to collect...
Diane Morrison - Two young elven Gunslingers must stop a cannibal spirit before it, or the blizzard it brings, kills everyone they know...
Diana L. Paxson - A painter journeys to the Rockies to paint landscapes, and stumbles upon an ancient mystery...
Claire Ryan - Rollo is going to get her giant slug herd in to market, come hell or high water, monster or no monster...
Ricardo Victoria - An ex-spellslinger has taken up a career as a travelling salesbeing of a newfangled weapon called a "rifle"...
Stanley B. Webb - A U.S. Marshal must stop a notorious outlaw who may or may not be a dragon...

We invite you to explore these stories in the grand pulp fiction tradition: from weird westerns, to sci-fi and space westerns, to post-apocalyptic westerns, alternate history, time travel, and cattlepunk.

Featuring a classic Solomon Kane story by Robert E. Howard.

Six Questions For . . .: Six Questions for Gerald So, Editor, The Five-Two

Six Questions For . . .: Six Questions for Gerald So, Editor, The Five-Two: The Five-Two publishes poetry to 60 lines in the crime genre. Any form of poetry is acceptable, including free verse and prose poems. Read ...

SleuthSayers: And the Winner Is . . .

SleuthSayers: And the Winner Is . . .: by Herschel Cozine NOTE: I'm pleased today to welcome my friend Herschel Cozine as a guest blogger. Herschel has published extensivel...

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Elizabeth Dearborn


Back in May SMFS celebrated, as we do each year, International Short Story Month. The celebration led to the creation of the weekly short story segment SMFS Short Story Saturdays. Each Saturday we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old and were not previously linked to during the May 2018 Short Story Month event.


For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, Elizabeth Dearborn shares the short story, “Who Knew?” archived at The Clarity of Night. 


If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.




Tuesday, March 12, 2019

SleuthSayers: It Isn’t You by Michael Bracken

SleuthSayers: It Isn’t You: by Michael Bracken There’s a fiction writers tell one another, though the advice is aimed squarely at newcomers: Editors aren’t rejectin...

SMFS Member Publication News: O'Neil De Noux


SMFS Member O'Neil De Noux’s latest book, Righteous Sentence: LaStanza: New Orleans Police Series Book 10 is now out. Published by Big Kiss Productions, the read is available in eBook and print formats at Amazon.

Amazon Synopsis:

LaStanza New Orleans Police Series No. 10

An ex-wife has stolen her daughter. A nun has run away with a young man. Former NOPD Homicide Detective Dino LaStanza, now a private eye, takes the cases and discovers the reason the ex-wife took off with her daughter. It turns him against the husband. The nun case is easier to understand. Young people in love. Meanwhile, LaStanza’s wife Lizette has her own problem. She’s being followed and needs bodyguarding.

The stolen daughter case takes a sinister turn when she runs away from her mother. LaStanza and his crew discover why and frantically search to save the daughter from a horrible fate.

When LaStanza and his crew take on a case ... they go all out.

Previous books in the LaStanza Series are:
1. Grim Reaper
2. The Big Kiss
3. Blue Orleans
4. Crescent City Kills
5. The Big Show
6. New Orleans Homicide
7. The Blue Nude
8. The Long Cold
9. Saint Lolita

O’Neil De Noux is a New Orleans writer with 40 books published, 400 short story sales and a screenplay produced. He writes crime fiction, historical fiction, children’s fiction, mainstream fiction, science-fiction, suspense, fantasy, horror, western, literary, young adult, religious, romance, humor and erotica. His fiction has received several awards, including the SHAMUS AWARD for Best Short Story, the DERRINGER AWARD for Best Novelette and the 2011 POLICE BOOK OF THE YEAR. Two of his stories have appeared in the BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES anthology (2013 and 2007). He is a past Vice-President of the Private Eye Writers of America.